NASA Earth Observatory image by Jesse Allen, based upon data courtesy of the NCAR and University of Toronto
Measurements of carbon monoxide (CO) from the Measurements of Pollution in The Troposphere (MOPITT) instrument on NASA’s Terra satellite show the pollutants from widespread biomass burning on Sumatra, Indonesia, being carried northward toward the Asian mainland. This image shows the mixing ratio of carbon monoxide at
about 3 km (700 mb) above the surface for June 1-10, 2003. This MOPITT image corresponds well with this true-color image from Terra MODIS that shows the locations of the fires and the resulting pall of smoke over Sumatra on June 8.
Carbon monoxide is a good tracer of pollution since it is produced as a by-product of the combustion associated with wildfires and agricultural fires. The reds in this image show the highest levels of carbon monoxide and blues show the lowest levels. The gray areas show where no data were collected, either due to persistent cloud cover or gaps between viewing swaths.
This image originally appeared on the Earth Observatory. Click here to view the full, original record.