As the new year opened, haze still clung to the southern side of the Himalaya as it had in late 2006. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) flying onboard NASA’s Aqua satellite took this picture on January 1, 2007. This image shows the region around Kanpur in northern India. In this image, haze appears as a dull, gray, translucent band partially obscuring the view of the land surface. Opaque white clouds also appear south of the mountains, and tiny clouds dot the skies over the Himalaya in the north.
According to a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in December 2006, persistent pollution in this part of the world both dims incoming sunlight and reduces rainfall, hampering India’s rice harvest.
NASA image courtesy the MODIS Rapid Response Team at NASA GSFC. The Rapid Response Team provides daily images of this region.