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Satellites improve air quality monitoring in South Africa

22 August 2013

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Economic development often means an increase of harmful gases into the atmosphere. ESA's GlobEmission project uses satellite data to monitor atmospheric pollution from emissions.

South Africa's economy is rapidly growing. From 2002 to 2012, its gross domestic product grew by about 270 billion US dollars. Unfortunately, a strong economy often leads to high levels of air pollutants - which can influence regional air quality and can have an impact on global climate change.

Over the industrialised Highveld region, satellites show concentrations of the air pollutant nitrogen dioxide comparable to those observed in Europe, eastern North America and south-east Asia. With such high levels of air pollution, it is important to monitor the emissions that cause them.

Source: European Space Agency (ESA)

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