|NASAs Aura spacecraft (to be launched in 2004) will
provide us with the first truly global view of tropospheric ozone quantity,
distribution, and mixing with other gases in the troposphere. Well be
able to track ozone both regionally within continents, and from one continent to
another, explains Reinhold Beer, principal investigator for the
Emission Spectrometer (TES), one of four instruments on Aura.
Understanding air quality on a global scale will continue to be important for the foreseeable future. For the cooperation required to control air pollution, we need an international agreement, explains Brasseur. But before we can move to such an agreement, we need to understand the problem scientifically. Satellites are key to our research.
|In this animated model of the intercontinental travels of air pollution, each mass of color represents a different source of carbon monoxide (CO), at a concentration of 100 parts of CO per billion parts of air (ppb). Both the combustion of fossil fuels and the burning of forests and fields release CO, and contribute to ozone formation over time. In the animation, one concentration of CO represented in purple originates in western and eastern Europe and travels across northern Asia and the Arctic. Another represented in bright pink originates in southern and southeastern Asia and travels eastward across the Pacific Ocean. A third CO concentration in orange, probably the result of burning forests and fields for agriculture, travels west from Africa to South America. CO in gray from North America moves across the Atlantic Ocean, and some of it reaches Europe. The animation represents approximately three months of data (January through March, 2000), with four frames per day. Scientists obtained these results with the chemistry transport model MOZART 2. (Animation provided by B. Khattatov and J-F. Lamarque, NCAR. The MOZART model has been developed by scientists from NCAR and the Max Planck Institute.)|