Joint ISRO and NASA study finds a layer of aerosol over the Asian region in the Earth's Stratosphere


In a collaborative study by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and NASA, the Asian region has been found to have a layer of aerosol, a sub-micron size particle suspended in air, and also a major pollutant.

Representational Image. Reuters

Representational Image. Reuters

The pollutant was found after the study read into satellite images, confirming the presence of the sub-micron size particle. According to a report by The Times of India, ISRO stated that the measurements by the joint team have "confirmed the presence of aerosol layer seen in satellite measurements over the Asian region and it also shows a sharp increase of aerosol concentration near 16.5-18.5 km (from the Earth's surface)."

Aerosols are a product of man-made processes on the surface such as vehicular exhaust and burning of waste. Volcanic eruptions and wind-blown dust which rise and accumulate in the upper Troposphere to Lower Stratosphere region also contribute to the presence of aerosols.

"This layer contains particles of size less than 0.25 micron and is 90 percent volatile", ISRO said. This is unlike background mineral aerosol dust that is naturally present in the atmosphere.

The same study has also confirmed the finding of nitrate over the region, after a preliminary chemical analysis of samples was conducted. A detailed report is yet to be prepared because of which there was not much said on this end.

As a part of this collaborative campaign, the Aerosols, Radiation and Trace Gases Group (ARTG) of the National Atmospheric Research Laboratory, ISRO along with a team from NASA have been studying air quality around India.


According to another report by News Nation, NASA, along with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), has also announced a $100,000 grand prize for designing an aerosol sensor to monitor the Earth’s air quality and space environment.

Registration for the first phase of the Earth and Space Air Prize competition will remain open until 13 December, 2017 while the last date for design submission is 31 January, 2018.


Published Date: Sep 21, 2017 08:41 am | Updated Date: Sep 21, 2017 09:00 am


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