Source: NASA/JPL AIRS Project
Published: July 10, 2019

September 5, 2013

This movie was produced with data from the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument on NASA's Aqua spacecraft shows the spread of carbon monoxide pollution across North America from fires in the Western U.S., including the Beaver Creek Fire in Idaho and the Rim Fire in California. The movie shows carbon monoxide concentrations at altitude 18,000 feet (5.5 kilometers) as measured by AIRS, and runs from August 3-26. The frames in the movie are maps made from 3-day averages of AIRS data.

About AIRS

The Atmospheric Infrared Sounder, AIRS, in conjunction with the Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit, AMSU, sense emitted infrared and microwave radiation from the Earth to provide a three-dimensional look at Earth's weather and climate. Working in tandem, the two instruments make simultaneous observations all the way down to the Earth's surface, even in the presence of heavy clouds. With more than 2,000 channels sensing different regions of the atmosphere, the system creates a global, 3-dimensional map of atmospheric temperature and humidity, cloud amounts and heights, greenhouse gas concentrations, and many other atmospheric phenomena. The AIRS and AMSU fly onboard NASA's Aqua spacecraft and are managed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, under contract to NASA. JPL is a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.

More information about AIRS can be found at

How To Get AIRS Data

Data Products: