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NASA Data Strengthens U.S. Air Quality Warnings

27 August 2019

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Daily U.S. air quality forecasts for particulate matter could potentially be more accurate as the result of incorporating NASA's Earth-observing satellite data, according to a recent study.

Lead investigator of the study, Rajesh Kumar of the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado, incorporated, every three hours, satellite data of aerosol optical depth into the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) National Air Quality Forecast Capability (NAQFC). These changes have resulted in an approximately 38% improvement in the accuracy of the particulate pollutants reported in the NAQFC tests, which contributes to daily Air Quality Index (AQI) forecasts created by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Source: NASA

Image credit: WSB-TV Atlanta - The Air Quality Index is often used in local weather forecasts to keep the public informed about unhealthy conditions.

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