Space agencies offer a global view of our changing environment

The Earth Observation Dashboard uses a wealth of data from Earth observation satellites to document global changes affecting our society and the environment. The dashboard has been expanded to contain six new focus areas that provide an accurate, objective, and comprehensive view of our planet. Credit: European Space Agency

In response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, ESA, NASA and JAXA worked closely together to create an open-source platform, based on the Euro Data Cube, which used a wealth of data from Earth observation satellites to document ongoing global changes. to our society and the environment. Now, the COVID-19 Earth Observation Dashboard has been expanded to contain six new areas of interest that provide an accurate, objective, and comprehensive view of our planet.

The dashboard features examples of global environmental change across six new themes: atmosphere, oceans, biomass, cryosphere, agriculture and economy. Each theme’s interactive stories provide an easy-to-use resource for makers and those unfamiliar with Earth observation data, with advanced data mining options available to scientists.

ESA’s Director of Earth Observation Programmes, Simonetta Cheli, said: “International collaboration between our space agencies is essential. satellite data provided by ESA, NASA and JAXA are used every day to benefit society as a whole and advance our knowledge of our planet.

“Following the success of the Earth Observation Dashboard, I am excited to see how our resources and technical knowledge can be expanded and used to deepen our understanding of global environmental change and other societal challenges impacting our planet.”

“At NASA, data accessibility is a top priority,” said Karen St. Germain, director of NASA’s Earth Sciences Division. “Together with our partners at ESA and JAXA, this is another important step in providing the public with the latest information about our changing planet in an accessible and practical way that can inform decisions and planning for communities around the world.”

Koji Terada, Vice President and General Manager of the Space Technology Directorate at JAXA, added, “Following the collaboration with NASA and ESA on COVID-19, we have expanded this dashboard to broadly provide the stories about global issues such as the environment and climate change in the world as part of the trilateral collaboration. With a view to contributing to the understanding of the Earth’s environment and systems and improving the value of Earth observation data, we, JAXA, will continue to work on updating this dashboard. .”

Using precise remote sensing observations, the dashboard shows the changes taking place in the Earth’s air, land and water and their effects on human activities. Users can explore countries and regions around the world to see how indicators for specific locations change over time, dive into data-driven stories, and interactively explore datasets.

The Atmosphere study area shows how air pollution and climate change contribute to the greatest environmental challenges of our time, while the Biomass study area presents a story describing how trees and plants remove substantial amounts of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere each year.

the agricultural area allows users to explore satellite data that provides information on agricultural production, crop conditions and food supply. The cryosphere presents a story about the effects of increasing global temperature on the extent of sea ice.

The Water and Ocean space focuses on Earth’s greatest natural resource and allows users to experience a view of the ocean as rich and complex as that of the earth. The economic focus area provides access to datasets that show how the Earth’s social and economic systems relate to the environment.

In addition, the Earth Observation Dashboard also provides direct access to a dataset exploration tool. Using the Dataset Explorer, users can examine any of 72 economic indicators, 35 agriculture indicators, 29 air quality indicators, 37 water indicators and two health indicators. It also contains links to tutorials that show how to use the dataset exploration tool through real-world examples.

ESA, JAXA and NASA will continue to improve this dashboard as new data becomes available. The dashboard is accessible here.

Space agencies join forces to produce global view of COVID-19 impacts

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