Behind the Scenes With Scientists Who Created A Global Air Pollution Map

Yesterday, NASA posted an article about a new global map of health-sapping PM2.5 air pollution. The Dalhousie University researchers who made the map used data from NASA’s MISR and MODIS satellite instruments, as well as information from a computer model called GEOS-Chem. You can read the news story here (or the accounts from Wired, Public Radio, and UPI), but we also wanted to share some of the audio from our interview with the scientists for those who want more details. The scientists being interviewed are Aaron van Donkelaar and Randall Martin; the person asking the question is Goddard-based science writer Adam Voiland.

What was the most interesting thing you found from this analysis?  

Why go to the trouble of making this map?

What’s the heavy band of particulate matter in Africa? Is dust bad for our health?

Martin: There’s no lower bound on health effects

Have other researchers done this kind of analysis?

Are these data ready for prime time?

How did you combine data from both satellite instruments?

–Adam Voiland, NASA’s Earth Science News Team