New satellite releases images of global air pollution
First images of global air pollution have been released by a new satellite that was launched last month.
The UK-Dutch built Sentinel-5P is the sixth satellite under Europe’s leading environmental programme Copernicus, which monitors the atmosphere to help understand the spread of key pollutants and their impact on the planet.
The new mission promises to showcase air pollution in more detail than ever before, according to the European Space Agency (ESA).
One of the first images shows nitrogen dioxide over Europe, caused largely by traffic and combustion of fossil fuel in industrial processes.
High concentrations can be seen over parts of the Netherlands, the Ruhr area in western Germany, the Po Valley in Italy and over parts of Spain.
Another shows ash and smoke from the Mount Agung volcanic eruption in Bali, Indonesia on 27th November 2017.
Some of the first data has been used to create a global map of carbon monoxide.
UK Science Minister Jo Johnson said: “After only a few weeks in orbit, this UK-built satellite is delivering real results, shining a light on air quality and demonstrating the important role of the UK’s space sector in tackling global challenges.”