20 Jul 2020 Press Release Oceans & seas

The Group on Earth Observations and Google Earth Engine Support to Develop a Eutrophication Monitoring Tool

The Group on Earth Observations (GEO) and Google Earth Engine (GEE) have awarded the "Development of a Near Real-Time Monitoring System for Marine Coastal Eutrophication Using Google Earth Engine" as a winning project in July 2020. The project is among 32 projects from 22 countries to address some of the biggest global challenges using open Earth Data. The project aims to use a 250 m resolution satellite dataset on Chlorophyll-a to assess potential eutrophication areas at the global scale. Eutrophication is one of the biggest challenges of the marine environment world-wide. Eutrophication is caused by increasing nutrient loading from urban, industrial and agricultural wastes. Eutrophication can impair or kill fish in large numbers, change species composition, contaminate water and decrease seashore recreational opportunities.

The Northwest Pacific Action Plan (NOWPAP) has been assessing the coastal eutrophication by using satellite chlorophyll-a data in the past years, but available data are up to 1 km resolution. The project will use a finer spatial resolution dataset to develop a real-time monitoring tool for eutrophication assessments at the global scale. The project will be led by Professor Joji Ishizaka, Institute for Space-Earth Environmental Research, Nagoya University, in collaboration with the Northwest Pacific Region Environmental Cooperation Center (NPEC), the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, GOOGLE, LLC, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), NOWPAP, and the Japan Association for the UNEP.

The project will last for two years. It will produce an interactive map of potential eutrophication area over the global ocean to help the NOWPAP Member States and countries around the world to manage eutrophication and report their progress under the 2030 UN Sustainable Development Agenda. The long-term consistent chlorophyll-a data set will help climate studies as well.

(Writer:Ning Liu, Reviewer: Yegor Volovik, Genki Terauchi)