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COVID-19 crisis: NASA and Partner Space Agencies to release global view of coronavirus impacts

The COVID-19 Earth Observation Dashboard tracks key indicators of changes in air and water quality, climate, economic activity, and agriculture.

In order to track the environmental and socioeconomic impacts caused by the global response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, a unique collection of data from Earth-observing spacecraft managed by NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) will be unveiled during a media teleconference at 9 a.m. EDT Thursday, June 25.

According to NASA, “The COVID-19 Earth Observation Dashboard is a tri-agency collaboration that brings together current and historical satellite observations with analytical tools to create a user-friendly information resource for the public and researchers. The dashboard tracks key indicators of changes in air and water quality, climate, economic activity, and agriculture.”

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The teleconference to release global view of coronavirus impact will witness participation from:

  • Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, Washington
  • Josef Aschbacher, director of ESA Earth observation programmes, Frascati, Italy
  • Koji Terada, vice president and director general for the Space Technology Directorate at JAXA, Tsukuba, Japan
  • Shin-ichi Sobue, project manager for JAXA’s Advanced Land Observing Satellite-2, Tsukuba, Japan
  • Ken Jucks, upper atmosphere research program manager at NASA’s Earth Science Division, Washington
  • Marie-Helene Rio, ocean applications scientist at the ESA Centre for Earth Observation, Frascati, Italy

If you too are interested in witnessing the teleconference with supporting graphics, it will be streamed live at here.

Moreover, a link to the COVID-19 Earth Observation Dashboard along with supporting graphics for the briefing will become available at approximately 8 a.m. Thursday, June 25 here.

The COVID-19 pandemic changed the routines of millions of people around the world seemingly overnight. In some places, once-congested streets are now easily navigable; previously crammed sidewalks, eerily vacant. Such widespread, rapid change in human activity is unprecedented and its effects on our planet and our lives are only just beginning to be realized.

Earlier in May, NASA’s Earth Science Division announced that it is supporting the science community as it investigates the many changes this unique situation has brought to light. Through its Rapid Response and Novel Research in Earth Science (RRNES) initiative, the agency is providing funding for selected, rapid-turnaround projects that make innovative use of satellite data and other NASA resources to address the different environmental, economic and societal impacts of the pandemic.

The agency recently funded the following four RRNES projects:

  1. Exploring Uneven Gains in Urban Air Quality
  2. Impact of Air Pollution Reduction on the Atmosphere
  3. Air Pollution Links to Water Quality
  4. Shedding (Night) Light on Pandemic Economic Impacts
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