Ozone Monitoring Instrument Team Spots “Fingerprints” on Earth’s Atmosphere

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#Ozone , #Air pollution

Published on 13 May 2019

The  ozone monitoring Instrument (OMI) aboard NASA’s Aura satellite specializes in finding “fingerprints” — signatures of gases and particles that clutter the atmosphere. By measuring solar radiation reflected from Earth’s surface and scattered by its atmosphere, the OMI team derives important information about aerosols such as dust and smoke and pollutants like nitrogen and sulfur dioxide.

By measuring solar radiation reflected from Earth’s surface and scattered by its atmosphere, the Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) team derives important information about aerosols such as dust and smoke and pollutants like nitrogen and sulfur dioxide. 
Credits: NASA

The team also estimates ozone amounts in two areas of Earth’s atmosphere. In the upper atmosphere (also called the stratosphere or “ozone layer”), ozone acts as a shield to protect life from harmful ultraviolet radiation, but in the lower atmosphere (or troposphere), it is a greenhouse gas and pollutant. The team’s data products report ozone concentrations in both places to monitor its influence on climate change and the ozone layer’s recovery from damage caused by harmful manmade chemicals such as chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). 

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