You’ve probably heard stories of skies and water clearing up while most people stay at home during the COVID-19 pandemic, but how much have things improved, really? Scientists are about to rely on NASA technology to find out. The space agency is funding four research projects that will rely on satellites and various data resources to understand how pandemic lockdowns have affected pollution worldwide.
One project will study uneven gains in air quality around the world by connecting satellite data to weather, traffic and other info. Another effort will meld satellite and meteorological data to gauge how reduced air pollution has affected the atmosphere. A third initiative will determine what if any effect lowered air pollution has had on water quality, while a fourth will use light pollution satellite data to examine socioeconomic impacts and the effectiveness of stay-at-home orders.