Earth Expeditions: Korea U.S.-Air Quality | Summary and Q&A

May 12, 2016
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Earth Expeditions: Korea U.S.-Air Quality


NASA's KORUS-AQ mission in South Korea is studying air quality using aircraft and ground instruments, aiming to improve forecasts and understand global air pollution.

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Questions & Answers

Q: Why is NASA studying air pollution?

Air pollution is a global problem, and NASA uses satellites to get a global view, measuring small particles and gases. This helps understand the impacts on human health and Earth's climate system.

Q: How does NASA measure air pollution from space?

Measuring air pollution from space is challenging due to small amounts of pollutants, cloud interference, and the need to measure pollution at the surface. Techniques like LIDAR and satellites are used to overcome these challenges.

Q: Why did NASA choose Korea for the KORUS-AQ mission?

Korea was chosen because of its special relationship with NASA, as they are building a sister satellite. This study helps calibrate and validate the satellite before it launches. Additionally, Korea's air quality diversity makes it an ideal laboratory.

Q: How does KORUS-AQ contribute to understanding air quality?

KORUS-AQ collects continuous data from over 300 ground-based air quality sites, helping validate satellite measurements and improve our knowledge of the challenges faced in observing air quality from space.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • NASA's Earth science mission, KORUS-AQ, is studying air quality in South Korea to deepen our understanding of air pollution processes and improve forecasts.

  • The mission involves using multiple airplanes and ground instruments to collect data and analyze it over the next few years.

  • South Korea's diverse pollution sources make it an ideal location for this study.

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