scorecardresearch

‘Near real-time’ air maps to your rescue! How Google & NASA will help in war against air pollution

Google has incorporated two new NASA data sets into the Earth Engine Catalogue that are automatically updated daily.

‘Near real-time’ air maps to your rescue! How Google & NASA will help in war against air pollution
The results will create city-scale, near real-time estimation and forecasting of harmful pollutants. (Image: IE)

The problem of air pollution remains the biggest challenge for governments across the world. According to the World Health Organisation, as many as seven million people die every year globally due to air pollution. In order to provide a solution, NASA and Google have joined hands for better tracking of air pollution on the local level. The collaboration aims at developing advanced machine learning-based algorithms that “link NASA data with Google Earth Engine data streams to generate high-resolution air quality maps in near real-time”. The results will create city-scale, near real-time estimation and forecasting of harmful pollutants, such as nitrogen dioxide and fine particulate matter.

Rebecca Moore, director at Google Earth, said “We’re thrilled about our partnership with NASA to make daily air quality more actionable at a local level.”

Also Read | World Ozone Day 2022: What is Montreal Protocol and is it helping ozone layer to heal?

“Environmental insights, like high resolution air quality maps, can be useful tools for cities and community organisations who can take action on climate and health in their neighbourhoods,” Moore added. “This scientific research partnership with NASA will help us improve the resolution, validation and the usefulness of air quality maps in both space and time — giving everyone more data for decisions towards cleaner air,” she further said.

How will this work?

Google has incorporated two new NASA data sets into the Earth Engine Catalogue that are automatically updated daily. These include data from the NASA Goddard Earth Observing System Composition Forecasts (GEOS-CF) and Modern-Era Retrospective analysis for Research and Applications, Version 2 (MERRA-2). These provide satellite observations of pollutants to help map and predict regions with poor air quality.

Also Read | Climate change likely contributed to deadly floods in Pakistan: Report

“This partnership is a major step forward in integrating air pollution data from a range of critical sources, from ground-level observations to satellite data, into advanced machine learning algorithms,” said Pawan Gupta, senior scientist with Universities Space Research Association (USRA) at NASA Marshall Space Flight Center.

The US space agency said all the products, algorithms, workflows, case studies, and tutorials that will be developed as part of this partnership will remain free and open to the public.

Get live Share Market updates and latest India News and business news on Financial Express. Download Financial Express App for latest business news.