Satellite map reveals that animal waste pollution is much worse than thought

Satellite map reveals that animal waste pollution is much worse than thought as it identifies 178 new hotpots of ammonia from faeces and urine that can cause death Ammonia (NH3) is a colorless waste gas that's present when animals defecate However, high amounts can crop failure, animal disease and even human death  Data compiled over nine years could help track a country's ammonia footprint  

By Peter Lloyd for MailOnline

Published: 14:06 GMT, 6 December 2018 | Updated: 22:27 GMT, 6 December 2018

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A map of animal waste hotspots created from data captured from space has revealed the world's worst areas for ammonia pollution.

Satellite images have provided previously-unseen information about the atmospheric chemical, which is released when animals defecate and urinate.

The naturally-occurring gas can be toxic for people, livestock and crops when high quantities mix with other compounds. 

This can result in lung disease and even death, but its colourless appearance previously made it difficult to track and regulate emission levels. 

Now, researchers at Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) in Belgium, have done exactly that by identifying the world's top 242 sources - two thirds of which were previously unknown. 

The map also uncovered 178 wider emission zones, many of which were previously unknown. 

Combining nine years of satellite data from the the European Space Agency's MetOp satellite mission, the result is billed as the most comprehensive map of global ammonia pollution, ever

Combining nine years of satellite data from the the European Space Agency's MetOp satellite mission, the result is billed as the most comprehensive map of global ammonia pollution, ever

Combining nine years of satellite data from the the European Space Agency's MetOp satellite mission, the result is billed as the most comprehensive map of global ammonia pollution, ever. 

The discovery of these precise locations published in the journal, Nature, will potentially allow nations to manage their own ammonia footprint more effectively. 

It includes the worst offender, Eckley in Colorado, and Tulare, California, plus the Ukraine's Cherkasy. 

Typically, the greatest causes of ammonia pollution stem from

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