This mesmerising map shows you real-time air quality conditions around the world

Do you know the quality of the air you’re breathing? Find out using this real-time map

As people around the pledge to ditch the diesel, walk to work, and take the time to talk about Clean Air Day, we were keen to find out about the air quality outside our office and in our towns. Bored by graphs and spreadsheets, we searched for a more colourful and easy to understand visualisation of air pollution. We found it in the form of AirVisual Earth – a hypnotic map that compiles billions of data points around the world and displaying them on a 3-D Earth.

The biggest concern when we talk about air pollution are particles that are smaller than 2.5 micrometres. These are the tiny particles are so small that they can travel into our blood through our lungs as we breathe. It’s called PM2.5 pollution and has been linked to health problems including heart disease and lung cancer. There are no safe levels of this particulates, but the World Health Organization have announced that it is a serious public health concern when populations are exposed to concentrations greater than 10 micrograms per cubic meter. We can’t see this pollution. Often we can’t smell it either. But by combining  PM2.5 data from government air quality stations with satellite data and the community, the AirVisual Earth highlights where these particles are found in high numbers and how they’re moving along with the wind. The blue and green colours on the map are showing anything less than 12 micrograms per cubic meter of PM2.5, but the yellow, orange and red show the areas suffering from the highest concentration of pollution.

Do you want to do something to tackle air pollution? You can find out more about Clean Air Day here and get involved!


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