Satellite Spies Ship Pollution
NASA’s Aura satellite using the onboard Ozone Monitoring Instrument can ‘see’ shipping lanes via NO2 emissions. This data was collected from 2005 to 2012. The shipping lanes in the Indian Ocean, Red Sea, Mediterranean Sea, and routes through the South China Sea are more visible because the geography of those areas constrain shipping to small lanes, whereas in the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans the shipping lanes are not as confined. Also contributing to the visibility of the lanes is the relatively clean air of the northern Indian Ocean as compared to the coast of China where pollution from cities and offshore drilling ‘hide’ the shipping lanes.
Photo Credit: NASA