Hazy Skies over Southeast Asia and Southern China

Hazy Skies over Southeast Asia and Southern China
  • Credit:

    NASA image created by Jesse Allen, Earth Observatory, using data provided by the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and the University of Toronto MOPITT Teams

Carbon monoxide hung thickly over the Beijing region for much of March 2006. Although the pollutant was relatively mild over the Korean Peninsula and Bo Hai—the body of water immediately west of the peninsula—carbon monoxide grew thicker to the west.

This image is a composite of readings from the Measurements of Pollution in The Troposphere (MOPITT) instrument flying onboard NASA’s Terra satellite. The image shows carbon monoxide concentrations between March 1 and March 26, 2006. Dark blue indicates the lowest carbon monoxide concentrations while red indicates the highest. Many of the populous regions in China show relatively high concentrations, in yellow. Although less intense than the region around Beijing, a large portion of Southeast Asia also shows elevated levels of carbon monoxide, in pale blue-green with small patches of yellow. Smoke from fires in that region likely contributed to the elevated pollutant. Gray areas show regions where the instrument could not collect data. High-altitude land features, such as the Himalayas, can interfere with MOPITT data collection.

Images & Animations


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  • Data Date:

    March 26, 2006
  • Visualization Date:

    April 4, 2006
  • Sensor(s):

    Terra - MOPITT
NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration