Cooperative Institute for Climate & Satellites - Maryland

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Meredith Nichols

What is the Impact of Oil & Natural Gas Operations on US Air Quality?

  • Compared ground, flight and satellite data at 4 of the NASA DISCOVER-AQ campaign locations (Maryland-July 2011, California-Jan. 2013, Texas-Sept. 2013, Colorado-July 2014).
  • Analyze different trace gases to interpret the source of methane (i.e. carbon dioxide-transportation pollution, larger concentrations of methane indicate possibility of drilling while lower localized methane concentrations indicate wetlands).
  • Special Thanks to Dr. Anne Thompson and Dr. Debra Kollonige, my mentors at NASA GSFC and ESSIC.

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Figure 1: Methanol profile from NASA P3B flight.

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Figure 2: Ability to detect forest fires.

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Figure 3: The warmer colors indicate areas where methane values are larger, which happens to occur in several areas of natural gas production.

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Figure 4: Methane profile from NASA P3B flight.

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