The Sichuan Basin filled with haze •

Today’s Image of the Day from NASA Earth Observatory features the Sichuan Basin in southwestern China, where the remains of an ancient lake have been transformed into rolling hills and fertile farmland over time. According to NASA, the basin is often filled with air pollution and haze.

“When the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite acquired this image on January 31, 2023, a layer of haze had settled in the basin. The pall obscured cities and other surface features that are visible on clearer days, though a series of ridges could be seen poking above the pollution in the northeastern part of the basin,” says NASA.

“On the day the image was acquired, measurements from several ground-based sensors in Chongqing and around the southeastern part of the basin reported fine particulate matter (PM2.5) measurements well above 200 on the air quality index, according to data published by the World Air Quality Index Project. That is high enough to be designated ‘very unhealthy’ by health authorities.”

The most common sources of pollution in the Sichuan Basin include vehicle emissions and coal and wood burning during winter. 

Image Credit: NASA Earth Observatory 

By Chrissy Sexton, Editor

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