Connecting the dots: nitrogen dioxide over Siberian pipelines | 3/13/2019 | Staff
KimmyPoo (Posted by) Level 3

New maps that use information from the Copernicus Sentinel-5P satellite reveal emissions of nitrogen dioxide along a Siberian natural gas pipeline that connects the Urengoy gas field—the second-largest gas field in the world—with Europe.

The Urengoy–Pomary–Uzhhorod pipeline is one of Russia's main natural gas export pipelines. In order to maintain the pressure and flow over long distances, a series of compressor stations are strategically placed to help push the gas along.

Compressor - Stations - Turbines - Combustion - Quantities

Compressor stations typically run on gas-powered turbines, and their high-temperature combustion usually leads to small quantities of nitrogen dioxide emissions being lost to the atmosphere.

Until now, it has proved difficult to measure trace-gas concentrations over snow-covered regions such as Siberia, northern Europe and Canada, as it has been very difficult to distinguish clouds from snow and ice in the data retrieval algorithms—considering snow and clouds appear equally bright and cold.

Number - Months - Nitrogen - Dioxide - Altitudes

This reduced the number of months in which nitrogen dioxide could be measured at high altitudes, because satellite measurements were only trusted in summer months, once the snow had melted.

Using data from the Copernicus Sentinel-5P's Tropomi instrument, scientists from the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI) have now solved this problem.

'spot - Height - Surface - Ice - Snow

If a bright 'spot' is detected very close to the height of the surface, it is presumed to be an ice or snow, or in extreme cases, very low-lying clouds such as fog.

When scientists from KNMI began to...
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