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World Wide Daily Nitrogen Dioxide Map

World Wide Daily Nitrogen Dioxide Map

World Wide Daily Nitrogen Dioxide Map Legend

The process of burning fossil fuels releases a variety of gases and particulates. In every combustion, carbon dioxide (CO2) and water (H2O) are released, but when fuels containing nitrogen are burned (such as fossil fuels), nitrogen dioxide (NO2) is released as well. Nitrogen dioxide is a toxic compound, often associated with an dull orange-brown color, and it is a major air pollutant, especially in the industrial zones.

In the troposphere (the lower atmosphere), NO2 is responsible for the formation of ozone (O3). While stratospheric O3 (upper atmosphere) protects the Earth from harmful ultraviolet energy. Tropospheric O3 causes many health and breathing problems. NOAA monitors global NO2 concentration using the GOME-2 sensor on the MetOp-A satellite that was launched by the European Space Agency.

The data images are composite averages of 1 month of tropospheric nitrogen dioxide data and updated on the first of each month, which shows the data from the prior full month. The yellow and orange-brown colors indicate the presence of a high concentrations of nitrogen dioxide. Notice the very large concentrations over the major industrialized areas in the United States, Central Europe and China. Notice also how the extent of these plumes are somewhat constrained by the presence of mountain ranges, shown in the topographic map underneath.

Source: NOAA


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