Scientific Visualization Studio, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center,
This animation presents a sequence of images acquired in March 2000 by the MODIS, MOPITT and CERES instruments aboard Terra. The first image shows a MODIS true color image draped over surface topography. In the next frame, we see a high concentration of water vapor, or humidity, just south of the Himalayas. This humidity contributes to the growth of dense vegetation, as indicated by the darker greens in the true color image. The lush landscape attracts people--about half a billion people reside there. The most dense concentrations of population are indicated by the reds and yellows in this population map. In the next image, you can see how their industries produce a thick layer of haze, or aerosol particles, (brown pixels, measured by MODIS) as well as relatively high levels of carbon monoxide (reds and yellows, measured by MOPITT). Notice that these gases and aerosols are framed by the topography Himalayas and are not allowed to spread northward to the Tibetan plateau. These gases and aerosols alter the way sunlight is reflected over this region. The lighter colors show where more light is being reflected, while the darker blues and greens show less reflectivity (measured by CERES).
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