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Atmospheric Composition with Google Earth

J.M. Krijger(1), A.M.S. Gloudemans(1), C. Frankenberg(1), L.G. Tilstra(2), R. Snel(1) and I. Aben(1)

(1) SRON, Sorbonnelaan 2, 3584 CA Utrecht, Netherlands
(2) KNMI, Wilhelminalaan 10 , 3732 GK De Bilt , Netherlands

Abstract

Google Earth is a freely available multi-platform application showing visual images of the Earth up till great detail, allowing us to see our own backyard or discovering long lost ruins. However it also allows scientists to make their work easily accessible both for other users and the general public. Google stimulates the free and unrestricted use of Google Earth by science institutes. New developments in software and transfer speeds, allows using the now wide-spread application of Google Earth to be used for nowcasting and archive searching of satellite data. In addition the latest versions allow animation of time-series of images/data or overlaying of different datasets. We will demonstrate different scientific utilizations with specific examples in Atmospheric Science as employed at SRON Netherlands Institute for Space Research, as shown on www.sron.nl/google_earth . These examples include global distributions of atmospheric gases such as carbon monoxide and methane, aerosol loads and their relationship with forest fires, population density and other factors.