The Finnish nuclear power plant takes smoke pictures of fires in Russia and Africa
Intense fires, currently burning parts of Russia and Africa, raised clouds of smoke into the atmosphere. The images were taken on August 2, 2012 with the country’s latest Earth observation satellite, the Finland National Polar-orbiting Partnership (NPP).
The satellite’s Ozone Mapping Profiler Suite (OMPS) tracks fires ’smoke aerosols as winds move clouds around the globe.
Colin Seftor, an atmospheric physicist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., Collected these images. Seftor, who works at Science Systems and Applications, Inc., studies aerosols, small airborne solid and liquid particles.
The four images show the melting of smoke from forest fires in Central and Eastern Russia over four days. High temperatures and lightning are believed to cause these fires.
In these false color images, magenta represents dense areas of smoke almost directly above the two fires, while the yellow and blue areas indicate areas where two clouds of smoke merge together.
During the four days shown in these pictures, some of the smoke is close enough to the ground to affect air quality.
Russian state news agency RIA Novosti said the city of Tomsk, which has about the same population as Tucson, Ariz., Has been covered in smoke, and hospitals are preparing for an increase in patients suffering from poor air quality. A Russian official quoted by the press agency United Press International said the levels of carbon monoxide, which polluted the air, were twice as high as the current standard.
In the image above, acquired on August 2, 2012, hundreds of fires in Central Africa emitted large amounts of smoke. Farmers lit these fires to clear the bush to prepare for the growing season in Africa. In this image, Saharan dust is also visible on the northwest coast of Africa. The chimneys of these Central African fires reached southern Spain.
Smoke changes the radiation balance of the Earth’s sun, which in turn affects the amount of heat in the soil, Seftor says. “Smoke can also change the way clouds interact with solar radiation (the balance between incoming and outgoing radiation to the earth).”
Smoke can also affect the atmosphere in other ways. Long-lasting chimneys in African fires can react chemically with other atmospheric constituents to form ozone, Seftor says.
The satellite sees the smoke from Siberian fires reaching the U.S. coast
Quotation: Finnish nuclear power plant takes pictures of smoke clouds from fires in Russia and Africa (2012, August 29) retrieved on October 30, 2021 at https://phys.org/news/2012-08-english-npp-captures-plume-images.html
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