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Satellite images show extent of air pollution worldwide

Images taken by a new European satellite show the levels and distribution of air pollutants around the world, including ash spewing from a volcano in Indonesia.

The European Space Agency released images Friday made by its Sentinel-5P satellite that show high concentrations of nitrogen dioxide in parts of Europe on Nov. 22.

Nitrogen dioxide is mainly caused by vehicle emissions and in industrial processes. 

Sentinel-5P, launched Oct. 13, can map levels of nitrogen dioxide, methane, carbon monoxide and other pollutants that can be hazardous to human health or contribute to global warming. The map above shows ozone as viewed by the satellite

Sentinel-5P, launched Oct. 13, can map levels of nitrogen dioxide, methane, carbon monoxide and other pollutants that can be hazardous to human health or contribute to global warming. The map above shows ozone as viewed by the satellite

WHAT THEY SHOW 

The pollution observed over Europe is mainly the result of traffic and the combustion of fossil fuel in the industrial processes.

This was particularly apparent over parts of the Netherlands, the Ruhr area of western Germany, the Po Valley in , and parts of Spain.

High levels of carbon monoxide were seen over parts of Asia, Africa, and South America, commonly produced by fires.

The images also show sulfur dioxide, ash and smoke from the Mount Agung volcano in Bali last month.

Another image shows high levels of carbon monoxide, commonly produced by fires, in Asia, Africa and South America.

A series of images also show sulfur dioxide, ash and smoke from the Mount Agung volcano in Bali last month.

Sentinel-5P, launched Oct. 13, can map levels of nitrogen dioxide, methane, carbon monoxide and other pollutants that can be hazardous to human health or contribute to global warming.

‘Sentinel-5P is the sixth satellite for the EC Copernicus environmental monitoring programme but the first dedicated to monitoring our atmosphere,’ said Josef Aschbacher, ESA’s Director of Earth Observation Programmes.

‘These first images offer a tantalizing glimpse of what’s in store and are not only an important milestone for the Sentinel-5P mission, but also an important milestone for Europe.

‘Data such as we see here will soon underpin the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring

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