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Environment ministry works with NASA on Asia air quality project

02/15/2024 09:36 PM
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A NASA DC-8 Airborne Science Laboratory flies over southern Taiwan on Thursday. CNA photo Feb. 15, 2024
A NASA DC-8 Airborne Science Laboratory flies over southern Taiwan on Thursday. CNA photo Feb. 15, 2024

Taipei, Feb. 15 (CNA) The Ministry of Environment, in conjunction with the United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and other international academic and research organizations, on Thursday completed a four-hour mission monitoring air quality across central, southern and eastern Taiwan.

NASA, an independent U.S. federal government agency responsible for the civil space program, has been conducting a project monitoring air quality across Asia. As part of this, research aircraft were deployed to measure air quality in parts of Taiwan on flights from the Philippines to South Korea, the ministry said in a statement.

During the mission, airborne air quality observations over central, southern and eastern Taiwan took place over four hours, providing high-resolution precision data regarding the causes of air pollution and changes in the three-dimensional distribution characteristics of pollutants, according to the ministry.

In addition, as part of the project, the ministry worked with 20 domestic and foreign academic institutes and more than 40 academics and specialists to launch a high-definition 3D air quality experiment on Feb. 1 in the Kaohsiung-Pingtung region, to investigate the link between topography, atmospheric circulation and air pollutants.

Source: Ministry of Environment

This is the first large-scale international and inter-departmental air quality monitoring initiative that the ministry has been involved in, the statement added.

The ministry stated that the key elements of the Kaohsiung-Pingtung air quality monitoring project include two ground-based air quality monitoring stations and a U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration vertical spectrometer station.

The project also includes sampling data collected by ground-level air quality stations run by various domestic bodies and involves the use of advanced technology and instruments, including drones, wind radars, airborne balloons and solar photometers, to monitor the characteristics, chemical composition and 3D distribution of various air pollutants, according to the ministry.

(By Chang Hsiung-feng and Evelyn Kao)

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CNA correspondents in Manila are onboard a recent flight of the NASA DC-8 Airborne Science Laboratory.
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