Europe clears the air

July 9, 2012

Satellite measurements show that nitrogen dioxide in the lower atmosphere over parts of Europe and the US has fallen over the past decade. More than 15 years of atmospheric observations have revealed trends in air quality.

As the world's population increases, economies in many countries are also growing and populations are concentrating in large cities. With the use of fossil fuels still on the rise, pollution in large cities is also increasing. Nitrogen dioxide is an important pollutant in the , the lowest portion of our atmosphere.

of it began with the launch of the ERS-2 satellite in 1995 and its GOME instrument, originally designed for monitoring .

Monitoring continued with the Sciamachy sensor on Envisat, OMI on NASA's Aura and GOME-2 on Eumetsat's MetOp.

This set of instruments shows, that over the years, nitrogen dioxide levels have decreased in the US and Europe, but increased in the Middle East and parts of Asia.

"The changes observed from space can be explained by two effects: increased use of in evolving economies, leading to increased pollution and improvements in technology – like cleaner cars – leading to reduced pollution," explained Andreas Richter, a scientist with the Institute of Environmental Physics at the University of Bremen in Germany.

"These changes in pollution levels are surprisingly rapid, and satellites are the only way to monitor them globally.

"For this, the long-term availability of satellite instruments that can monitor pollution is of key importance."

In the US, urban areas in the state of California showed a consistent drop in .

"Airborne and ground-based measurements supported the findings from the satellite data," said Si-Wan Kim from the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

"The are now being used to improve the emission inventory in California."

Explore further: NASA's Aura Satellite Sheds New Light on Air Quality and Ozone Hole

More information: These results were recently presented at the 'Advances in Atmospheric Science and Applications' conference in Bruges, Belgium.

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3 / 5 (4) Jul 09, 2012
And what does cleaner air do?

More sunshine.

And what does more sunshine do?

It warms the planet.

And what did IPCC AR4 says about more sunshine?


2.3 / 5 (3) Jul 10, 2012
ParkerTard is just off of several months of insisting that the planet is cooling.

Now he changes his story.

He is mentally diseased.
5 / 5 (1) Jul 10, 2012
"The increase in summer average sunshine between those two periods is 6 Watts per square meter, which dwarfs the alleged effects of CO2 by more than 5 times."

2.3 / 5 (3) Jul 10, 2012
And what does cleaner air do?

More sunshine.

And what does more sunshine do?

It warms the planet.

That has to be the dumbest bit of non-reasoning I've ever heard.

I'll counter it with: What does dirty air do? catch solar energy (and stores it all as heat in the atmosphere in the process)
What does cleaner air do? Absorb less. It allows more sun to pass through, strike the ground, heat up the ground (thereby emitting infrared) and let it pass back out.

Now would be already vastly better than your 'reasoning' but it is still dumb because what is essential is what molecules catch solar energy (and store the energy) best. And NO2 is not a potent greenhouse gas in that respect at all (nitrous oxide - N2O - is, however)
not rated yet Jul 11, 2012
And what does cleaner air do?

More sunshine.

And what does more sunshine do?

It warms the planet.

That has to be the dumbest bit of non-reasoning I've ever heard.

I'll counter it with: What does dirty air do?

SO2 or carbon black?

"Sulfate aerosols are highly reflective which leads to cooling."

From the Dutch paper:

"since the mid 1980s a significant increase in
visibility has been noted in western Europe
(e.g. Doyle and Dorling, 2002), and there are
strong indications that a reduction in aerosol
load from anthropogenic emissions (in
other words, air pollution) has been the
dominant contributor to this effect, which
is also referred to as brightening. In the
Netherlands visibility, sunshine duration,
surface global short-wave radiation and
temperature have shown a significant rise
during this period, consistent with direct
and indirect aerosol effects, implying large
regional aerosol effects on climate."

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