In many countries, the problem of harmful emissions into the Earth’s atmosphere is acute, which adversely affects the ecology of the planet. Therefore, scientists are trying to constantly monitor air pollution using satellites for this. However, existing equipment takes measurements once a day, which does not allow taking into account many important factors. New NASA and ESA satellites will be able to record changes in the air in real time.
NASA, South Korea and the European Space Agency (ESA) are developing a system for global monitoring of air quality on Earth. The first to go into orbit was the Geostationary Environmental Monitoring Spectrometer (GEMS), launched on the Korean satellite on February 18. Among other things, he was instructed to take measurements on the surface of the ocean. In 2022, an identical device will be sent to NASA, and in 2023 – ESA.
A key feature of the new devices is that they can record changes every hour, and not once a day, as is happening now. According to scientists, this will contribute to efforts to combat such harmful emissions as nitrogen dioxide, smog, formaldehyde and aerosols. Thanks to special equipment, it will be possible to record the exact amount of emissions, their sources and distribution.
“It will be interesting to obtain sources of pollution and pollution transfer at different times of the day. We will be able to get more accurate forecasts of air quality, air pollution, because we will know about the sources and how these sources change over time, ”a NASA spokesman said.
GEMS rotates in geostationary orbit. This means that he will continuously monitor the same region. So, the first device will study emissions over Asia. The ESA satellite aims to monitor air over Europe and North Africa. NASA will take over North America. Researchers note that air pollution in Europe reduces life expectancy by two years. Thanks to the new devices, people will be able to plan their trips based on the level of emissions in the region, as well as the dangerous concentration of carbon dioxide up to the area of the city and even the street.
Note that recently, NASA noticed from space an improvement in air over China, linking this to the closure of factories due to the coronavirus.