Fires in Australia

Australian wildfires have intensified since the beginning of January. The NRL/Monterey Aerosol image above shows that the South-Eastern part of Australia has a large concentration of smoke. This is shown by the purple spots which have a concentration of >512 ug/m**3.

This is corroborated by the NASA Worldview and the Copernicus Global Forecast Plot images which show a large AOD trail coming off of the South-Eastern part of Australia.

The World Air Map charts below show that the monthly AQI measurement for Sydney Australia is mostly purple (150-200 AQI). The yearly World Air Map chart shows that around November Sydney’s AQI started to increase as Australia’s fire season began. BBC reports that by January 5th more than 14.8 million acres had been burned with 20 people died. They also report that this is 4 times the size of the 2019 Amazon fires.

 

 

Moderate Levels of Particulate Matter in Baltimore and Dust Storms in Chile

The AirNow Map image above shows that the Baltimore Region had a moderate level of PM on the 25th of December as shown by the Yellow covering the area.

The AirNow Tech Chart shows the median PM 2.5 AQI level was above 51 which shows that the Baltimore region has had Moderate levels of PM 2.5 AQI level (51-100) for several days.

The NRL/Montersoy Aerosol image above shows a high level of dust over the Atacama Desert in Chile. At its most concentrated there is a 640-1260 ug/m*3.

The NASA Worldview image above corroborates the NRL/Monterey Aerosol image as much of the dust is above the Atacama Desert.

Air Pollution in Northern India

In recent months the air quality in the Northern States of India has reached hazardous levels. The state having the worst air quality, Delhi, is now having to pass out face masks to protect their citizens from the pollution.   

The NASA Worldview image above shows that there is a large concentration of particulate matter around Northern India as shown by the dark red portions of the image above.

The Copernicus Global Forecast Plot corroborates this information as there are dark red spots in Northern India similar to the ones in the NASA Worldview image above.

The World Air Map chart shows that the AQI in Delhi increased drastically from November to December. The PM level in this state regularly surpassed 103 ug/m*3 which for the US would be placed within the red or Unhealthy zone (65-150 ug/m*3). On November 15th it is also reported that the particulate matter was measured to be 380 ug/m*3 which is well into the Hazardous level (>250 ug/m*3)in the US.

The World Health Organization has stated that breathing in the air in Dehli is equal to smoking 50 cigarettes a day. Vox reports that there are multiple possible causes of the increased levels of air pollution in North India. For one, much of the Indian population drive vehicles that are not energy efficient and with such a large population on the road, it leads to a large amount of carbon emitted from these exhausts. The state is also largely powered by coal and locals often use fires to cook food. Finally, a newly passed water law has pushed poorer farmers in the region to burn their fields to fertilize their fields quickly and cost-efficiently to be able to get good yields. However, the particles released from these fires have often drifted into the Delhi region increasing air pollution in the state.

 

 

Bush Fires in Eastern Australia

The NASA Worldview image above shows that there is a large AOD concentration coming off the east coast of Australia. This is due to the many bushfires that are raging along the east coast of Australia. The NSW Rural Fire Service reports that the largest fires are currently contained, but have burned over 180 thousand of acres. The Guardian reports that these fires are often started by lightning strikes.

The NRL/Monterey Aerosol image below shows that the smoke surface concentration created in Eastern Australia reaches above 512 ug/m**3 as shown by the purple blob on the coast of Eastern Australia.

Maria Fire and Tick Fire in California

The  NOAA HMS image above shows that the Maria Fire and Tick Fire in California are releasing light amounts of smoke. The  NRL/Monterey Aerosol image below corroborates this image as the red circle part of the image below matches the areas that these fires are located. This image reports that the surface concentration of the Maria and Tick Fires are helping to create a smoke concentration of 64-256 ug/m**3.

The  National Weather Service image below shows that the Los Angeles region is still under a Red Flag Warning for increase chances of fires starting. The US Fire, Weather, and Avalanche Center reported that the Maria Fire has burned up to 9400 acres of land and the Tick Fire has burned up to 4600 acres. The Tick fire is fully contained while the Maria Fire is only 20 percent contained.

Saddleridge Fire in California and Overall Fire Conditions in California

The AirNow Map image above shows that California had a wide range of PM AQI ranging from areas near Fresno Very Unhealthy(Maroon Color, 201-300 ppb) to most of California being covered by a Moderate level (Yellow, 51-100).  The NOAA HMS image below shows that fires close to the Cascade Range such as the South Fire are releasing high amounts of smoke towards the Pacific Ocean. INCIWEB reports that the South Fire had been started by lightning and has burned over 5300 acres of land.

In southern California, the Saddleridge has been creating massive evacuations in the Los Angeles area.  Newsweek reports that over 40,000 residents near the fire have been ordered to evacuate. NOAA reports that the fire has been hard to control due to high winds in the region fanning the flames and keeping the fire alive. The National Weather Service image below reports a Red Flag Warning(increased chance of fire in the pink,) High Wind Warning, (in brown, Winds up to 70 mph,) and Gale Warning, (in Lavender, winds up to 35 knots). INCIWEB reports that the Saddleridge fire has burned over 8000 acres of land and is 98 percent controlled. The origin of the fire is still being investigated.

Fires in California; Fires in Mexico

The NOAA HMS image above shows that fires that are taking place in California are releasing light to moderate smoke towards the Pacific Ocean. The AirNow Map image below corroborates this data by showing large areas of California had a yellow (Moderate PM AQI, 51-100 ppb)

The Global Fire Watch map above shows that on October 21st the Mexican regions of Tabasco and Chiapas. Together this region had 35 fire alerts on October 21st.  The NOAA HMS image below shows that light smoke has been released from fires in this region is drifting upward towards the Gulf of Mexico.

Taboose Fire in California; Typhoon Hagibis

The AirNow Map image above shows that the Taboose Fire in Inyo California is releasing a Hazardous (301-500 ppb) amount of PM 2.5 particles in the air. INCIWEB reports that this fire has burned over 10 thousand acres and it is only 75 percent contained. It was due to natural causes and is currently only burning natural dry brush and other natural fuels in the area. It poses no immediate danger to residents in the area. The NOAA HMS image above corroborates the idea that a high amount of PM 2.5 particles are being released by the fire and that the particles are drifting eastward towards the Midwest.

The NOAA Environmental Visualization Library has captured a picture of Typhoon Hagibis as it crosses over the Pacific Ocean. The Typhoon is currently considered as a Super-Typhoon as it sustains winds of 150 mph for over a minute. The Typhoon is currently on a path to hit Japan and a few Rugby World Cup matches have been canceled in preparation for the arrival of Typhoon Hagibis. Japan’s Meteorological Agency is expecting areas of Japan to get waves over 13 meters tall with up to up to 39 inches of rain. The NASA Worldview image shows a satellite image of Typhoon Hagibis.

Agricultral Fires in Arkansas Releases High Particulate Matter; High Ozone in Los Angeles

The NOAA HMS image above shows that agricultural fires on farms in Arkansas are releasing heavy amounts of particulate matter into the atmosphere. UALR public radio reports that these fires are often due to farmers who do not have the equipment necessary to remove the straw from older harvests, thus choose to burn their fields to clear their fields for the new harvests. However, this has often lead to respiratory illnesses for the youth and elderly in the area.

The AirNow Map image above shows that on September 6th the Los Angeles area in Californa had a Code Red Ozone level (Unhealthy, 96-115 ppb.) The AirNow Tech graph below reports that there was a max 100 ppb in the area.