The emission into the atmosphere of nitrogen dioxide, related to traffic, in cities around the world, are reflected in new maps that use satellite information Copernicus Sentinel-5P, which was launched in October 2017 to map a multitude of air pollutants worldwide.
This type of pollution results from the traffic and combustion of fossil fuels in industrial processes. Some blackheads, in that sense, are Western Europe and China.
The satellite has the most advanced sensor of its kind to date: Tropomi. This instrument detects the unique footprint of atmospheric gases. Thus, we can observe the contamination of individual power plants and other industrial complexes, major highways and even ships.
In the Iberian Peninsula, for example, the black spots are Madrid and Barcelona. As he explains Henk Eskes, of the Royal Meteorological Institute of the Netherlands (KNMI):
The Tropomi instrument has a spatial resolution of 3.5 by 7 kilometers, compared to the 24 by 13 kilometers resolution we had of the Ozone Monitoring Instrument in NASA's Aura mission. Tropomi is basically ten times better. This is very valuable to improve our knowledge about how different sectors contribute to the general emission of nitrogen oxides.