NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center has released a series of visualizations showing how air pollution levels have decreased across the country in recent years. The visualizations show nitrogen dioxide concentrations mapped from 2005-2011. Even on that short time scale, a significant improvement is apparent: Rust Belt states saw a dramatic decrease in pollution levels, as did cities like Atlanta and Phoenix. Pockets of pollution remain in familiar places. Los Angeles, Chicago, and the New York City metropolitan area are still among the most polluted places in the country. Still, even New York reduced its nitrogen dioxide levels by 32 percent from 2005 to 2011.
NASA Visualization Tracks U.S. Air Pollution
Travis Korte is a research analyst at the Center for Data Innovation specializing in data science applications and open data. He has a background in journalism, computer science and statistics. Prior to joining the Center for Data Innovation, he launched the Science vertical of The Huffington Post and served as its Associate Editor, covering a wide range of science and technology topics. He has worked on data science projects with HuffPost and other organizations. Before this, he graduated with highest honors from the University of California, Berkeley, having studied critical theory and completed coursework in computer science and economics. His research interests are in computational social science and using data to engage with complex social systems. You can follow him on Twitter @traviskorte.
View all posts by Travis Korte