Earth  ID: 3073

NO2 Concentration Over the United States: September 24 - November 7, 2004

Nitrogen dioxide, NO2, is a traffic-related pollutant. Emissions are generally highest in urban rather than rural areas. Annual mean concentrations of nitrogen dioxide in urban areas are generally in the range 10-45 ppb, and lower in rural areas. Levels vary significantly throughout the day, with peaks generally occurring twice daily as a consequence of rush hour traffic. Concentrations can be as high as 200 ppb. Particulate matter is very fine and can be carried deep into the lungs where they can cause inflammation and a worsening of the condition of people with heart and lung disease. Further, the problem is not necessarily concentrated in the inner cities. Because many major road / motorway interchange complexes are situated in semi-rural areas, under conditions of near-stationary traffic, a rapid build-up of engine exhaust pollution can occur, which if the low-level atmospheric conditions are correct, will not be dispersed.

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Visualization Credits

Lori Perkins (NASA/GSFC): Lead Animator
Mark Schoeberl (NASA/GSFC): Scientist
Ernest Hilsenrath (NASA/GSFC): Scientist
Pepijn Veefkind (Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute KNMI): Scientist
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NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio

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Data Used:
2004/09/24 - 2004/11/07
Note: While we identify the data sets used in these visualizations, we do not store any further details nor the data sets themselves on our site.

This item is part of this series:
Aura First Light

Goddard TV Tape:

DLESE >> Atmospheric science
SVS >> Pollution
SVS >> Urban
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Atmosphere >> Atmospheric Chemistry/Nitrogen Compounds >> Nitrogen Dioxide
SVS >> Kyoto
SVS >> Copenhagen
NASA Science >> Earth

GCMD keywords can be found on the Internet with the following citation: Olsen, L.M., G. Major, K. Shein, J. Scialdone, S. Ritz, T. Stevens, M. Morahan, A. Aleman, R. Vogel, S. Leicester, H. Weir, M. Meaux, S. Grebas, C.Solomon, M. Holland, T. Northcutt, R. A. Restrepo, R. Bilodeau, 2013. NASA/Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Earth Science Keywords. Version