Recording atmospheric pollution

Recording atmospheric pollution

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Credit: PHILIPPE PLAILLY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Recording atmospheric pollution. Researcher monitoring the results from LIDAR (light detecting and ranging) laser equipment being used to measure atmospheric pollution due to aerosols. This equipment uses laser light to scan the sky and detects aerosols by the reflection of the light. Aerosols are microscopic solid particles (particulate matter) that are light enough to remain airborne. Natural examples include dust, sand, salt and volcanic ash. Examples from human sources include soot and other particles from the combustion of fossil fuels. Excessive amounts of aerosols can be a health hazard, and the amounts in the atmosphere need to be monitored. Photographed on 18 May 2005, in Paris, France.

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