Haze along the Himalaya
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Haze along the Himalaya

December 21, 2009
Haze hugged the southern face of the Himalaya in mid-December 2009. The MODIS on NASA's Aqua satellite captured this true-color image on December 14, 2009. A broad band of gray-beige haze stretches from northern India eastward across Bangladesh and southward toward the southern coast of India. Faint but discernible haze also hovers over the Bay of Bengal. Roughly mimicking the Indian coastline, a string of tiny clouds fringes the southeastern margin of the haze over the bay.

Red dots indicate hotspots likely associated with fires. Although the fires appearing throughout this scene probably contribute to the haze, they can't account for all of it. Industrial pollution probably contributes to the persistent haze in this area as does an inversion that traps particulate-laden cold air under a layer of warm air. Because the cold air can't rise above the warm air, haze accumulates.

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