Space agencies unveil site showing lockdown changes to Earth

NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA), and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) have unveiled a new dashboard which puts together the data from satellite observations. The COVID-19 Earth Observation Dashboard makes it possible for consumers to investigate how the pandemic has impacted a assortment of factors by on the lookout at satellite imagery – this kind of as airport and shipping visitors, a city’s evening lights and agricultural output. “When we began to see from space how changing patterns of human activity caused by the pandemic were having a visible impact on the planet, we knew that if we combined resources, we could bring a powerful new analytical tool to bear on this fast-moving crisis”.

Utilizing information from 17 satellites, 3 area companies have developed a web site that serves as a worldwide dashboard for short-term adjustments observed from orbit. In addition, the dashboard involves knowledge on greenhouse gases, air good quality and drinking water top quality. In San Francisco, a satellite produces images at night that help monitor light intensity to estimate energy use and economic activity. However, the University of California, San Francisco Medical Center brightened from January to April. Skies cleared as factories power down, planes stayed grounded, and folks stopped commuting while quarantining at home.

Along the Eastern United States, a drop in air pollutant nitrogen dioxide can be seen below, corresponding with reductions in fossil fuel emissions. According to the dashboard, it will take more time and studies to determine whether temporary reductions in carbon dioxide emissions are significant enough to contribute to the overall lowering of the world’s carbon footprint. Pollution ranges are going down in South America and may well be heading down once again with a virus rebound in China, mentioned NASA scientist Ken Jucks. The dashboard will still be updated with satellite observations as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. “Our teams are exhausted now, but also very proud to have our work presented to a global audience today”, Josef Aschbacher, director of ESA Earth Observation Programmes, said on the phone call.