NASA, ESA and JAXA have created a website that serves as a global monitoring platform for changes due to the coronavirus pandemic and quarantine measures.
The United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) have launched the Covid-19 Earth Observation Dashboard site. described in a press release on the NASA website.
The peculiarity of the platform is that it has combined a "collective array" of data collected with the help of 17 satellites of these space agencies, and allows using analytical tools to track how the coronavirus pandemic has affected a particular country - "with one touch of a finger." Thus, now we can see how the quarantine measures of some states affected, in particular, the quality of water, the level of air pollution, climate, airport capacity and … the harvest of white asparagus.
“When we began to notice from space that the changing patterns of human activity caused by the pandemic were having a visible impact on the planet, we knew that by pooling resources, a powerful new analytical tool could be created to help deal with this rapidly changing situation,” said the first assistant leader NASA Science Mission Directorate Thomas Zurbuchen.
As of June 26, the platform provides information on the United States, Japan, China, Bangladesh, EU countries (Germany, Belgium, Spain, and so on), Singapore and India. In the future, it is planned to load new countries and cities, and the data, which will also expand, will cover 30 environmental, 17 economic indicators and three agricultural indices.
In addition, the online platform is showing signs of a “return to normalcy” in some regions of the world. Take nitrogen dioxide, a yellowish brown gas with a pungent odor that blocks the airways and serves as an indicator of air pollution from automobiles and industry.
In several European countries, nitrogen dioxide levels dropped 50 percent in April, responding immediately to lockdowns, according to ESA Earth Observation Director Josef Aschbacher. In fact, changes in air quality were among the first noticeable consequences of the pandemic and were observed at different times in the United States and China, and indeed around the world.
Now, however, air pollution levels have begun to show an increase: countries have begun to lift restrictions, cars have reappeared on the roads, traffic jams have formed, and industries have resumed operations. At the same time, pollution levels in South America are decreasing, as in China, says NASA scientist Ken Jax. In his opinion, this is due to repeated outbreaks of Covid-19 there.
As the scientists emphasized, what is happening now with the Earth's biosphere is an absolutely new phenomenon in the history of the planet, requiring detailed study: according to them, the pandemic caused anthropause. And about what kind of experience epidemics have brought to humanity, you can read here.