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Satellite Imagery Reveals Big Decrease in Air Pollution

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Declining air pollution

Credit: NASA

by Jason Dorrier, Singularity Hub

Pollution in US cities has been declining for decades now. But sometimes it takes a visual aid to drive the point home.

NASA recently released a time lapse of nitrogen oxide — one of six federally regulated pollutants — in the US from 2005 to 2011.

Nitrogen oxide is produced by cars and coal power plants, is involved in the creation of other ground-level pollutants including ozone and particulates, and can negatively impact the respiratory system. The images, collected over a six-year period from orbit by the ozone monitoring instrument (OMI) on NASA’s Aura satellite, show nitrogen oxide levels declined nationally, and in some cases dramatically.

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© 2014 Singularity Education Group

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