Black carbon is lingering over California • Earth.com

Last update: June 24th, 2019 at 7:11 pm

Today’s Image of the Day from NASA Earth Observatory features a map of black carbon concentrations from the California wildfires.

Millions of people in northern California have been exposed to unhealthy air as smoke lingers from the Camp Fire.

When fires destroy vegetation, homes, and other materials, they emit gases and particles such as carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, hydrocarbons, nitrogen oxides, organic carbon, and fine particulate matter (PM2.5) – including a type of aerosol called black carbon.

PM2.5 is exceptionally threatening to human health because the airborne particles are small enough to enter the lungs and the bloodstream.

Around 35 percent of all black carbon emissions in the United States are from wildfires, while 52 percent are from vehicles,

The black carbon data in this image was generated by the GEOS forward processing (GEOS-FP) model, which combines information from both air and ground-based observation systems.

By Chrissy Sexton, Earth.com Staff Writer

Image Credit: NASA Earth Observatory

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