Beautiful NASA Map Shows What's In The Air

Science |

The world has been, if you have not been paying much attention, a little hot recently, and no, this time we're not talking politics. The climate is changing, and right now it doesn't matter if it's getting hotter or colder, what does matter is what's in the air we breathe.

Getting people to care about this is tough, though, so some experts have made it a lot easier to show people the severity of the global situation. Simply link them to the image below, and they’ll see first-hand that stuff is going to get pretty severe if we don’t make an immediate move.

Above is a visualization created by NASA researchers of the particulates present in our atmosphere on a single day—August 23, 2018. It’s a visual representation of all the atmospheric particles floating around. These particles are caused both by nature and by human actions, and it’s going to help us see what kind of state the world is in. Spoiler: it’s not looking good.

The red, for example, showcases things like black carbon and combustion particles. From fuel being consumed to the numerous global wildfires, these are a perfect explanation of what is going wrong with the world. There’s a hell of a lot more red on that map than there should be, to be blunt.

The bright blue dots is where salt is being sprayed up into the atmosphere (be sea storms etc.). You can see the bright blue on the far left where Hurricane Lane got real close to the Hawaiian islands.

The purple/pink haze spreading across Western China, North Africa, and the Middle East is dust particles, carried from deserts by the winds. If you didn't know, this dust, from China and North Africa, is providing the nutrients to sequoias in California while the Saharan dust fertilizing the Amazon.

This NASA image shows fires around the world that were burning on August 22, 2018. NASA

This second photo shows wildfires around the globe a day earlier. In North America, these are wildfires, while in Africa it's farmers burning fields in order to fertilize the ground.

With high concentrations of particles in the air almost certainly causing problems for human health, it’s safe to say that these problems are only going to get worst. With air pollution expected to kill as many as 3 million people per year globally, it’s time that we did something about this before it gets even worse.

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