Toxic Smoke Plume from Sulfur Fire in Northern Iraq

Toxic Smoke Plume from Sulfur Fire in Northern Iraq. A fire burning at an industrial sulfur processing facility in northern Iraq. Therefore at the junction of the Tigris (flowing in from North) and Great Zab (northeast) Rivers billowed white smoke over Iraq and other Middle Eastern countries beginning on June 25, 2003. The fire continued to burn for two weeks, spreading the toxic, sulfur-containing smoke over a wide area.

According to local media reports, the smoke was responsible for crop damage and other environmental problems. All as well as respiratory distress among people in the area, including at least two deaths. These image of the white smoke hanging over the region were captured by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on the Terra and Aqua satellites between June 25 and July 4, 2003. In some of the images, black or dark brown oil smoke hangs in the air as well. Also Toxic Smoke Plume from Sulfur Fire in Northern Iraq happens often when the countries gas and oil industry is so big. Therefore the toxic air fills with smoke causing distress for the whole area/country. Iraq has a coastline measuring 58 km (36 miles). Also on the northern Persian Gulf and encompasses the Mesopotamian Alluvial Plain, the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range and the eastern part of the Syrian Desert. Two major rivers, the Tigris and Euphrates, run south through Iraq and into the Shatt al-Arab near the Persian Gulf. These rivers provide Iraq with significant amounts of fertile land.

Credit: Jacques Descloitres, MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC

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