Some features of this site are not compatible with your browser. Install Opera Mini to
better experience this site.
The aerosol maps show average monthly aerosol amounts around the world based on observations from the MODIS sensor on NASA's Terra satellite. Satellite measurements of aerosols, called aerosol optical thickness, are based on the fact that the particles change the way the atmosphere reflects and absorbs visible and infrared light. An optical thickness of less than 0.1 (palest yellow) indicates a crystal clear sky with maximum visibility, whereas a value of 1 (reddish brown) indicates very hazy conditions.
These maps show net primary productivity, which is how much carbon dioxide vegetation takes in during photosynthesis minus how much carbon dioxide the plants release during respiration (metabolizing sugars and starches for energy) or decay. The data come from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite. Values range from near 0 grams of carbon per square meter per day (tan) to 6.5 grams per square meter per day (dark green). A negative value means decomposition or respiration overpowered carbon absorption; more carbon was released to the atmosphere than the plants took in.
View, download, or analyze more of these data from NASA Earth Observations (NEO):
Aerosol Optical Depth
Net Primary Productivity