Widespread smoke over Russia clearly seen on Meteosat Natural Colour RGB imagery on the morning of 25 July 2016.
09 August 2021
25 July 2016
By Jekaterina Služenikina (Estonian Environment Agency ) and Jochen Kerkmann (EUMETSAT)
From 18 July 2016 areas of a bluish-cyan colour started to appear on Meteosat-10 Natural Colour RGB images — most clearly seen in the early morning around 04:00 UTC. These areas were smoke, which came from the east (eastern Russia and Siberia) and started to spread widely to the southwest.
By 25 July the area with bluish-cyan colour had spread widely over Russia, Belarus and Ukraine (Figure 1).
By 26 July, the smoke had reached the Black Sea (Figure 2) and by 28 July it reached the Mediterranean Sea (Greece and Turkey) (Figure 3).
The progress of the smoke can be seen in the animation of the Meteosat-10 Natural Colour RGB animation , taken at 04:00 UTC every day from 18–31 July.
The area of dense smoke was spread in the lower levels of atmosphere because the high-level clouds were seen above this area.
The very good combination of channels in the Natural Colour RGB (1.6 µm–0.8 µm–0.6 µm) helps to detect such features as the smoke, which can only be slightly seen on infrared-based RGB combinations such as the Dust RGB, as can be seen in Figures 4 and 5.
In the northeastern part of the globe the smoke can be detected in the early morning because the Sun's rays were low at that moment and very small particles show the large forward scattering properties at the shortest visible wavelengths.
The massive smoke from the Russian fires was also seen on Himawari-08 AHI True Colour RGB imagery, although from the opposite direction (and covering the central part of Russia, not western Russia).
The smoke appeared as a hazy, white/grey feature on the edge of the Himawari-08 field of view, see True Color animation , 21 July 22:10 UTC–22 July 12:30 UTC (source: CIRA). Some pyro-Cumulonimbus clouds could be seen in the northern part of the area, but it is quite hard to distinguish the smoke from the smoke-polluted Cb clouds that have nearly the same colour.
Latest case studies
Cumbre Vieja volcano eruption
The Cumbre Vieja volcano on the Canary Island of La Palma erupted on 19 September 2021.
Melting Greenland ice sheet cools North Atlantic Ocean
Observing the cooling of the North Atlantic Ocean during the last decade, using weather satellites.
Smoke and burned areas from Greek fires
Smoke and burned area scars from the Greek wildfires in Aug 2021 seen in satellite imagery.
Large smoke plume from wildfires in Russia
In summer 2021 Russia saw unprecedented widespread wildfires ravage large swathes of Siberia.
Widespread smoke from Turkish fires
In summer 2021 parts of the Mediterranean Sea were shrouded in smoke from wildfires along Turkey's coast.