NASA and Google to help track local air pollution

San Francisco, September 16 (IANS) The US space agency has collaborated with Google to help local governments improve their air quality monitoring and forecasting.

NASA and Google will develop advanced machine learning-based algorithms that will link space data with Google Earth Engine data streams to generate high-resolution air quality maps in near real-time.

“We are excited about our partnership with NASA to make everyday air quality more actionable at the local level,” said Rebecca Moore, Director of Google Earth, Earth Engine and Outreach at Google.

The results will create a near real-time, city-wide estimate and forecast of harmful pollutants, such as nitrogen dioxide and fine particulates.

Google has integrated two new datasets from NASA into the Earth Engine catalog which are automatically updated daily.

These include data from NASA’s Goddard Earth Observing System Composition Forecast (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 forecast regions with poor air quality.

Harmful air pollution affects people and the environment and according to the World Health Organization (WHO), air pollution is responsible for around 7 million deaths worldwide each year.

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

Environmental information, like high-resolution air quality maps, can be useful tools for cities and community organizations that can take action on climate and health in their neighborhoods.

“This scientific research partnership with NASA will help us improve the resolution, validation and usefulness of air quality maps across space and time, giving everyone more data to make decisions. in favor of cleaner air,” Moore said.

(Except for the title, the rest of this IANS article is unedited)

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