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AIRS Map of Carbon Monoxide Draped on Globe
Forest fires and agricultural burning create large amounts of carbon monoxide. AIRS provides daily global maps of carbon monoxide from space, allowing scientists to follow the global transport of this gas day-to-day. In this image sequence, carbon monoxide pollution from agricultural burning blooms repeatedly over the Amazonian basin. The gas is then transported across the Atlantic Ocean. Carbon monoxide pollution from fires in sub-Saharan Africa is also apparent.
The Atmospheric Infrared Sounder Experiment, with its visible, infrared, and microwave detectors, provides a three-dimensional look at Earth's weather. Working in tandem, the three instruments can make simultaneous observations all the way down to the Earth's surface, even in the presence of heavy clouds. With more than 2,000 channels sensing different regions of the atmosphere, the system creates a global, 3-D map of atmospheric temperature and humidity and provides information on clouds, greenhouse gases, and many other atmospheric phenomena. The AIRS Infrared Sounder Experiment flies onboard NASA's Aqua spacecraft and is managed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., under contract to NASA. JPL is a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.