Applying the Northwest Pacific Action Plan Eutrophication Assessment Tool on a global scale

June 22, 2019
Press Release

The Northwest Pacific Action Plan was invited to the First Operational Satellite Oceanography Symposium held in June 2019 in Maryland, United States to introduce the Northwest Pacific Action Plan Eutrophication Assessment Tool (NEAT) and its applicability on a global scale.

The Symposium was organized by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Center for Weather and Climate Prediction. Some 150 experts on satellite oceanographic data, products and applications attended the meeting. The Symposium discussed what made an operational application successful, and where and how satellite service could be improved.

Genki Terauchi, Senior Researcher at the Special Monitoring and Coastal Environmental Assessment Regional Activity Centre of Northwest Pacific Action Plan presented the eutrophication assessment tool in the meeting. The tool enables detection of potential eutrophication zones from millions of pixel-based information retrieved by time series of ocean colour sensors.

Transforming big amounts of data into simple but robust indexes whose meaning stakeholders will understand instantly is of paramount importance, Trauchi said. He further explained that this method can help develop indicators for the index of coastal eutrophication under the sustainable development goal 14.1.1—Index of coastal eutrophication -by using both concentration levels and trends of remotely sensed Chlorophyll a.  

Application of the eutrophication assessment tool method on a global scale is in progress and almost ready for operational use. Use of higher-resolution ocean colour sensors is planned to better detect eutrophication in estuaries and enclosed bays.

The participants agreed that inter-validation of data from different sensors is necessary among agencies and companies which provide relevant data. Provision of reliable and validated data is more important than fast-paced provision of data and relevant agencies and companies should invest their time in education and human resource development to keep up with the continuous evolution of computer technology and data processing.

The Special Monitoring and Coastal Environmental Assessment Regional Activity Centre will continue develop the eutrophication assessment tool by using new satellite sensor data to better map eutrophication status in higher spatial resolution.