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Health and Air Quality Data Pathfinder

Factors causing outdoor air pollution affecting both rural and urban areas

Factors causing outdoor air pollution affecting both rural and urban areas. Source: Environmental Protection Agency

Data pathfinders are pathways to commonly-used datasets within NASA’s Earth science collections. Data pathfinders have been developed to aid new data users in discovering data or data visualizations. While there are numerous datasets for any air quality-related measurement, these pathfinders provide direct links to data that are most commonly used by natural resource managers, city and regional planners, air quality managers, and various federal agencies to aid in decision making. Note that this pathfinder will not make you an expert data user. It is intended to familiarize users with the various datasets that are applicable to health and air quality with some guidance on resolutions (spectral, spatial and temporal) and provide direct links to the data sources. After getting started here, there are numerous NASA resources that can help develop your skills further. If you are new to remote sensing, check out What is Remote Sensing or view the Applied Remote Sensing Training on Fundamentals of Remote Sensing

Pollution is due to both anthropogenic and natural events. It’s critical for air quality managers and public health researchers to monitor air pollutants locally, regionally, and globally to further determine the risk for health conditions or diseases that are exacerbated by poor air quality. A combination of ground- and satellite-based tools provides a unique view of the globe to better understand the impacts of air pollution events. These measurements help scientists, researchers, and decision makers in forecasting events and assessing conditions in near real-time to make timely decisions. NASA, in collaboration with other organizations, has a series of instruments that provide information for understanding a number of phenomena associated with air quality and public health. NASA’s Earth science data products are validated, meaning the accuracy has been assessed over a widely distributed set of locations and time periods via several ground-truth and validation efforts.

Last Updated: Oct 10, 2019 at 8:52 AM EDT