Find a
Select grade level(s) Select resource type(s) Select collection(s) Select standard(s) Skip navigation Digital Library for Earth System Education
Digital Library for Earth System Education
Search tips
Exploring Air Quality in Aura NO2 Data DLESE Reviewed Collection
In this chapter, users explore relationships between air quality and population density using the image visualization tool, Google Earth. Humans discovered long ago that burning fossil fuels was a convenient way to get power. In engines for automobiles and plants that generate electricity, huge volumes of oil, gas, and coal are burned every day. Where many people live together in concentrated areas, the exhaust of this burning has a noticeable effect on air quality. One of the by-products of combustion is a molecule called nitrogen dioxide (NO2). It is responsible for initiating chemical reactions that lead to photochemical smog, a yellow-brown haze that decreases visibility and causes breathing problems. The detection of nitrogen dioxide via satellite is one way to evaluate the extent and movement of smog pollution. Users will learn how to download NO2 data and analyze them to develop a conceptual understanding of how population and topography can influence the air quality of a region. Once they've learned the techniques, users are encouraged to explore seasonal changes in nitrogen dioxide concentrations at other locations.
Intended for grade levels:
  • Middle (6-8)
  • High (9-12)
Type of resource:
  • For the classroom:
    • Module / Unit
  • Visual:
    • Imagery - remotely sensed
    • Map
    • Visualization - scientific
  • Dataset:
    • Remotely sensed
  • Tools:
    • Software
  • Atmospheric science
  • Environmental science
  • Geographical Sciences:
    • Physical geography
Technical requirements:
Adobe Acrobat reader
Cost / Copyright:
No cost
This product is freely available on the Web
DLESE Catalog ID: NASA-ESERevProd-000-000-000-598
Resource contact / Creator / Publisher:
Contact: Marian Grogan