air quality geospatial

Geospatial AI and Machine Learning to Revolutionize Air Quality Monitoring

Aug 29, 2023, New Delhi: A pioneering approach is set to transform air quality monitoring in major Indian cities, including Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai, and Kolkata. Eminent scientist P G Diwakar, the ISRO Chair Professor at the National Institute of Advanced Studies, disclosed that Geospatial artificial intelligence and machine learning models would soon take centre stage in this critical endeavour.

The announcement was made during the India Clean Air Summit (ICAS) 2023, a significant event organised by the Centre for Air Pollution Studies (CAPS) at the Centre for Study of Science, Technology, and Policy (CSTEP) in Bengaluru.

Prof. Diwakar underscored the profound impact of mathematical modelling tools in India. He emphasised aligning sustainable development goals (SDGs) with air pollution indicators, a collaboration pivotal for addressing global environmental challenges.

“We must link up SDGs and air pollution indicators, as highlighted by the United Nations 2030 Agenda, particularly in the context of SDGs 3.9 and 11.6,” stated Prof. Diwakar. The senior scientist shed light on the pivotal role of Geospatial technologies in establishing an extensive network of ground observation points for precise in-situ pollution measurements. Integrating space data with ground-level observations will bolster accurate modelling, enhancing forecasting and assessment capabilities.

Prof. Diwakar’s approach leverages Aerosol Optical Depth (AOD) data from satellite sources, such as INSAT-3D/3DR and MODIs, in combination with vital weather data. Including weather data is pivotal, encompassing parameters like wind speed, wind direction, surface air pressure, temperature, and humidity, Prof. Diwakar emphasised. These elements play a pivotal role in the modelling process, yielding remarkable outcomes.

Notably, the model’s efficacy extends beyond air pollution to address broader SDGs, such as water pollution and electromagnetic radiation. The transformative potential of this approach holds promise for India’s comprehensive environmental management efforts.

V Faye McNeill from Columbia University commended India’s strides towards cleaner air, acknowledging significant advancements in air pollution monitoring and control measures since 2016. Initiatives like the National Clean Air Program (NCAP) and neighbourhood-level monitoring garnered recognition. Selvi PK, a scientist at the Central Pollution Control Board, highlighted the alignment with NCAP to reduce PM2.5 and PM10 levels by 2026 substantially.

India’s embracing geospatial AI and machine learning for air quality monitoring reinforces its commitment to environmental well-being and sustainable development. The convergence of cutting-edge technology and environmental stewardship promises a cleaner and healthier future.

Reference feed: Press Trust of India

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