Visibility Effects of Air Pollution
What affects visibility?
How is visibility impacted by pollution?
Visibility is affected by the physical interaction of light with particles and gases in the atmosphere. However, visibility involves more than how light is absorbed and scattered by the atmosphere. Visibility is the process of perceiving the environment through the use of the eye-brain system.
Important factors involved in seeing a scenic vista are shown in the following figure. Image-forming information from an object is reduced (scattered and absorbed) as it passes through the atmosphere to the eye. Sunlight is also added to the sight path by scattering processes. Sunlight and light reflected from the ground are absorbed and scattered by particles located in the sight path. Some of this scattered light remains in the sight path, and at times can become so bright that the image essentially disappears.
Types of Haze
What does haze look like?
How is visibility measured?
Last updated: June 14, 2016