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NASA Images Show A 'Giant Plume' Of Carbon Monoxide Emerging From the Amazon Fires

NASA has revealed 'air map' images from their Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument, which shows the movement high in the atmosphere of carbon monoxide associated with fires in the Amazon region of Brazil, over the course of the amazon fires.

Raka Mukherjee | News18.com@RakaMukherjeee

Updated:August 27, 2019, 12:49 PM IST
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NASA Images Show A 'Giant Plume' Of Carbon Monoxide Emerging From the Amazon Fires
Image Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech.
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The Amazon is burning.

The forests which are spread over Brazil, Peru, Bolivia, Colombia, Venezuela, Gurinam, Ecuador and French Guiana have been in the news recently for being on fire for days. While there is little on-ground information about what is actually happening, because a Google search brings up results of Amazon firestick, and rampant misinformation, also perpetuated by celebrities, the Amazon fire is the largest and most intense blaze in almost the last ten years.

Roraima, Acre, Rondônia, Amazonas, Mato Grosso do Sul and other States in Brazil have been particularly badly affected, reports BBC.

The rainforests which are called the 'Lungs of the planet' account for at least 20 per cent of the earth's oxygen supply. Over 73,000 fires have completely decimated the forests this year, finds Reuters.

These 73,000 fires aren't only eating away our oxygen supply - they're also adding carbon monoxide to the atmosphere.

NASA has revealed 'air map' images from their Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument, which shows the movement high in the atmosphere of carbon monoxide associated with fires in the Amazon region of Brazil, over the course of the amazon fires.

While carbon monoxide at high altitudes doesn't make that much of a difference, it can persist in the atmosphere for a month and travel over long distances. At the altitudes, it has little effect on the air we breathe - but that's not cause to rest. Winds carry it downward to where it significantly impacts air quality: and ultimately, the resulting carbon monoxide plays both a role in air pollution, as well as climate change.

A tweet by NASA's JPL also shows a smaller gif of the larger AIRS instrument.

Here's a key to understanding the colours: Green indicates concentrations of carbon monoxide at approximately 100 parts per billion by volume (ppbv); yellow, at about 120 ppbv; and dark red, at about 160 ppbv.

Worried about how this is going to affect you? You can't undo the damage done, but here's how you can help fix it.

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