Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

UK record heatwave and rising pollution observed by eyes in the sky: images reveal hotspots

25.07.2006
As the UK bakes during this summer’s heatwave, sensors in space have been recording dramatic increases in both UK land temperature and in air pollution, particularly in major cities. During a period of persistent stable summer weather from 15th and 19th July, temperatures rose to record highs for the U.K. and pollution due to nitrogen dioxide (NO2), a respiratory inhibitor, appears to have risen considerably too; the Met Office reported that temperatures on July 19th reached a record maximum for July.

These facts are dramatically demonstrated by the latest images from two sensors, the Advanced Along Track Scanning Radiometer (AATSR) on ESA’s ENVISAT satellite and the Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) on NASA’s Aura Satellite. The AATSR data show clearly how temperatures in the UK rose rapidly in a few days whilst the OMI results show the large increases in NO2. In particular, the results show the extremity of the effects on large conurbations, such as London, Birmingham, Manchester and Liverpool, suffering both extremes of temperature and pollution, whilst smaller individual cities such as Leicester show high temperatures but more moderate levels of pollution. Rural environments outside the sphere of influence of the cities display much more pleasant temperatures and moderate pollution levels. Since NO2 is mainly caused by road traffic and power-plants, the lack of rain and wind in the stable summer weather allows significant NO2 build-up in major cities.

Dr. John Remedios, Head of Earth Observation Science at the University of Leicester said: “The latest satellite data shows a perspective on the environment in which we live that can only be obtained from space. The images show the temperature increase and increased pollution for every region in the UK. It is particularly striking to see the extent of temperature and pollution increases in the large cities which have such a detrimental effect on the quality of life in those locations”.

These extremes of temperature and of pollution are likely to occur periodically throughout the summer as the prevailing heatwave conditions maintain themselves. Moreover, current climate change predictions for the UK suggest that the frequency of these extreme periods of high temperature and high pollution will increase. The consequences of long-term exposure to prolonged high temperatures and pollution levels are of particular concern to the elderly and those with breathing difficulties, living in large cities with associated health risks. Hence these data should be closely scrutinised by local and national government when considering air quality measures available each day in their respective areas. EU and National frameworks are in place, which impose maximum limits on levels of nitrogen dioxide in populated areas. Techniques and technology are progressing rapidly to allow more accurate and timelier assessment of compliance with such regulations across national and international landscapes.

The AATSR instrument is a UK instrument, funded by the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, to monitor sea and land surface temperatures.

The OMI instrument is a Dutch-Finnish instrument, funded by the Dutch and Finnish government. OMI was launched in July 2004 on NASA's EOS-Aura satellite. The Principal Investigator Institute is the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute KNMI, which works closely with NASA GSFC and FMI. Dr. Pieternel Levelt, OMI's Principal Investigator, said: "OMI's global urban-scale air pollution measurements on a day-to-day basis are the best ever to date for air quality from space."

Alex Jelley | alfa
Further information:
http://www.le.ac.uk

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht International network connects experimental research in European waters
21.03.2017 | Leibniz-Institut für Gewässerökologie und Binnenfischerei (IGB)

nachricht World Water Day 2017: It doesn’t Always Have to Be Drinking Water – Using Wastewater as a Resource
17.03.2017 | ISOE - Institut für sozial-ökologische Forschung

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Argon is not the 'dope' for metallic hydrogen

24.03.2017 | Materials Sciences

Astronomers find unexpected, dust-obscured star formation in distant galaxy

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Gravitational wave kicks monster black hole out of galactic core

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>