Fires in Western Europe, Spain, France (e.g. Gironde and La Teste De Buch) are not only dangerous for the immediate surrounding population. But their emission of fine particles aerosols is of high concern. These smoke pollution can spread over long distance & impact on human health.
Fires are hitting us in Western Europe, especially in Spain, Portugal, and France. This is a very concerning situation for all surrounding population. We provide in Near Real Time (NRT – i.e. < 3h) information to all operational users thanks to OFRaP-CS3, the reference CopernicusSentinel-3 NRT Fires processor of EUMETSAT.
These days, in April 2022. quite a high load of dust particles can be clearly observed in the Mediterranean basin. They are notably visible with Copernicus Sentinel-3, see example of pictures from the Level 2 (l2) Near Real Time (NRT) aerosol product (by EUMETSAT from the OSSAR-CS3 Processor v3.0 – Collection 2.0)
These aerosols mostly originate from Sahara and travel toward South Europe.
There is not only one type of clouds, but many of them, with diverse properties leading to various ways to visualize them when looking at our satellite measurements. Here an example with the Copernicus Sentinel-3 (S3) A Sea & Land Surface Temperature Radiometer (SLSTR) over Amazonia.
SLSTR has a special channel at 1.3 um in which water vapor (H2O) so much absorbs that no signal at the top of the atmosphere may be measured. Unless clouds at a very high altitude are present, shielding then a large fraction of the H2O column in the atmosphere. Consequently, a bright signal spikes up and elevated clouds shine!
From the picture above, snow & ice clouds are primary the highest one! Anything else lower, such as surface and fractional low clouds, seems “invisible”. They cannot be “seen”.
Save the date! The next Sentinel-3 Validation Team (S3VT) workshop will be held at EUMETSAT, in Darmstadt, Germany, from the 10th to the 12th of March, 2020! This is an important meeting, jointly chaired by EUMETSAT and ESA, for all scientists & users engaged with validation and evolution recommendations of current & upcoming products from the CopernicusSentinel-3 mission. And it will be my pleasure to co-chair our 2nd S3VT Atmosphere session.
Anyone who wishes to be involved in the Sentinel-3 validation activities with a privileged access to early new information is very encouraged to submit a proposal to join the S3VT team here. Looking forward to fruitful exchanges on aerosols,fire, H2O, andclouds!
No doubt winter has come in Europe! The Earth inclination has changed.
As observed last Winter with GOME-2 UltraViolet (UV) measurements, a big change in the effective UV irradiance reaching the Earth surface is also seen over the day between last July and nowadays.
Here below is an example with the estimated reduced Vitamine D production in our skin as a direct consequence. These pictures are from the ESA / KNMI Tropospheric Emission Monitoring Internet Service (TEMIS). Satellite UV dose is computed from the assimilated global O3 – ozone field at local solar noon, and with surface downwelling solar (SDS) radiation & cloud information measured by the Meteosat Second Generation (MSG) satellites led by the EUMETSAT agency.
But the forecast of Aerosol Optical Depth (AOD) for Friday 1st November 2019, computed by the Copernicus Atmospheric Service (CAMS)& depicted by the Windy on-line application, shows a striking dust “boomerang”-like pattern. After travelling a large distance, a heavy dust load eventually comes back to South Europe. Wind is a key factor explaining such aerosol long-range transport.
My colleague, Dr. Antti Lipponen, researcher at the Finnish Meteorological Institue (FMI), evaluated this transport phenomenon in a fancy unit. “Based on NASA’s GEOS-FP analysis the area of the dust over the Atlantic Ocean is about 9.1 million km² and the mass of the dust about 2.6 million tons (2 600 000 000 kg). If a truck would carry 40 tons of dust it would make about 65 000 truckloads!!!“
Fire risks are quite high these days in Southern California. And some fires have even already been observed by the Sentinel-3 (S3) B satellite, from the European Copernicus programme. Here below are some Red-Green-Blue (RGB) pictures from the Level 1 (L1) measurements of the optical S3B sensors, disseminated by EUMETSAT: the Ocean and Land Colour Instrument (OLCI) and the oblique view of the Sea & Land Surface Temperature Radiometer (SLSTR). These images show smoke aerosol particles spreading from North of Los Angeles over Pacific.
RGB image composite of the OLCI Sentinel-3 B L1 product: 2019.10.11, California, North of Los Angeles.
RGB image composite of the oblique view from SLSTR Sentinel-3 B L1 product: 2019.10.11, California, North of Los Angeles.
As illustrated by @weatherchannel, these areas are located in “Critical” fire danger zones.
On 2019.02.05, a remarkable dust outbreak issued from the Western Sahara coast spread over Gran Canaria islands. This thick plume, with heavy load of particles, and larger than 1.000 km width, was well observed via a series of satellite images:
Several days later, on 2019.03.02, another Saharan dust was transported over Cabo Verde. Similarly, a very large and thick plume was captured in the images from the NASA SUOMI VIIRS sensor, and measured by the aerosol index UVAI from Tropomi.