ESA Living Planet Fellowship on Fires

Project Aerosol

Landscape fires, whether natural or human-made, release pollutants, greenhouse gases and aerosols, affecting not only climate but also human health. To assess the impact, we study the regional air quality degradation due to wide-spread agricultural biomass burning. The focus lies on two regions of major concern: Indonesia and the Indo-Gangetic Plain in northern India. A primary pollutant resulting from the combustion of biomass is carbon monoxide. With the Dutch satellite instrument TROPOMI we can monitor the carbon monoxide concentrations on a day-to-day basis from a unique bird’s eye point of view. In combination with other instruments (satellites and ground-based) that observe for example fine particulate matter, it allows us to make a detailed assessment of regional air pollution, and what exactly is driving air quality degradation in those regions.

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