Using AirVisual app I notice there is a huge patch of pollution in Africa. I cannot imagine there is a big economic activity to support that huge pollution across almost the whole continent. What could be the cause of those pollution in Africa.

pollution in Africa

  • $\begingroup$ Are the red areas the polluted areas? If so, most of the map is understandable, but some red areas are inplaces where one wouldn't expect pollution, and there are green areas in places where there should be pollution. I gather that most of the monitoring was done by satellite. $\endgroup$ Jan 10 '20 at 18:33
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    $\begingroup$ this is a map of particulates PM10 earth.nullschool.net/#current/particulates/surface/level/… most of it is sand $\endgroup$ Jan 10 '20 at 20:00
  • $\begingroup$ I was wondering why the coast of the Namib Desert would be polluted, but that explains it. It also explains why polluted places which are green don't show up as polluted. Sometimes dust from the Sahara is blown as fa north as Britain, but not very often. These message boxes seem designed to produce typos. It's strange they don't work like other internet typing sites. $\endgroup$ Jan 10 '20 at 21:51

What you can see in your image is mostly dust from the shara desert https://earth.nullschool.net/#current/particulates/surface/level/overlay=pm10/orthographic=13.33,5.70,766

You will be able to see other types of particles like smoke from combustion like cars-industry-forrest fires,the picture show particles that is 10 microns in size.

On the linked page you can find details of other types of chemical and particulate emissions too like SO2 and CO2 it is a good source for information about the atmosphere.


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