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AIRS Near-Real Time Data and the Dry Season in African savanna

AIRS Near-Real Time Data shows dust and smoke in African savanna

AIRS Near-Real Time Data and the Dry Season in African savanna

AIRS shows Dust and Smoke in the African Savanna. The Dry (Winter) season of 2010-2011

AIRS Near-Real Time Data and the Dry Season in African savanna

Winter is the time of year when the dry season arrives in the northern African savanna (Figure 1). As the AIRS Near-Real Time (NRT) data of the past several days show, the dry season is in full swing, with hot dessicating winds blowing dust and fanning fires across the savanna, from Sierra Leone, to Nigeria (Figure 2). 

Apart from the smoke generated by biomass burning, winds are picking up enormous amounts of dust, which is reflected by the  values of the AIRS Dust Score (Figure 3). The Dust Score is a relatively new retrieval, available from the AIRIBQAP_NRT product (see all NRT products here), as well as from the corresponding product from the "standard" production line, AIRIBQAP.

An advantage of AIRS is the independent retrieval of atmospheric constituent gases, among which Carbon Monoxide (CO) is a good tracer of fires.  AIRS reveals astoundingly high concentrations and extent of CO release from this agricultural activity (Figure 4).

In summary, these data indicate troubling air quality conditions for large swaths of population in Guinea, Liberia, Cote d'Ivoire, Ghana, and Nigeria. An unfortunate combination of dust and smoke, as revealed by AIRS, is not an exception and will be an ever-present reality for the people of these nations for the winter season of 2010-2011. 

The AIRS NRT imagery is produced in real-time, immediately upon the production of the NRT data. 

For more AIRS Near-Real  Time Imagery visit :
http://disc.sci.gsfc.nasa.gov/nrt/data-holdings/airs-nrt-products/airs-nrt-products#WMS

A new Web-Map Server portal will soon be added to the above site. The AIRS images below are samples taken from this experimental portal.

  

Zoomed portion over African Savanna

Figure 1. TRMM (Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission) Precipitation, averaged for the months of November and December 2010, from the monthly merged estimates, 3B43 .

 

 

   

January 12

January 13

Figure 2.  False-color composite of AIRS visible NRT radiances (AIRVBRAD_NRT).

 

 

   

January 12

January 13

Figure 3. Dust Score from the AIRS NRT data (AIRIBQAP_NRT). The AIRS Dust Score is available from both, Day and Night overpasses. Thus, these images are composites from Day and Night data.

 

 

   

January 12

January 13

Figure 4. AIRS NRT Carbon Monoxide (CO) retrieval show very high concentrations, coming from the biomass burning in the savanna, normally occuring during the dry season. These data are also available for both Day and Night. Shown are Day portions (corresponding to the false-color imagery in Figure 2) only.

 

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Last updated: Jan 14, 2011 05:01 PM ET
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