These projects from NASA will save biodiversity on Earth

The projects are aimed to create new and virtual portals that will provide information about various species to scientists, decision-makers, and wealth managers.

These projects from NASA will save biodiversity on Earth
These projects from NASA will save biodiversity on Earth

These projects from NASA will save biodiversity on Earth

Earth is the home of millions of living species. Be it Yellow-billed Cuckoo or a tiger-striped brown-green frog, the rich biodiversity is crucial to maintaining a healthy ecosystem. To monitor the diverse flora and fauna on a regional and global scale, NASA has funded four projects. 

The projects are aimed to create new and virtual portals that will provide information about various species to scientists, decision-makers, and wealth managers. Since the species are vulnerable, a smart system is required to track how they compete for resources and migrate to a safer place in response to climate change.

Map of Life: a database to forecast future habitat of species

Map of Life is a virtual database to track birds, reptiles, mammals, amphibians, insects, plants, and a variety of fish across the globe. This interactive database can even forecast where these species will migrate in the future and how the law and regulations will support them.

Map of Life is a combination of satellite images, ground, and water-based information. Museum records and the modeling outputs also provide valuable information to the database. Satellites like Landsat and instruments like MODIS are a great source of information for this tool. 

Predicting biodiversity with a generalised joint attribution model 

PBGJAM is a model to predict how the communities of species are responding to climate change. This stool by researchers at Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, will identify biodiversity changes in North America. It is going to use Earth and climate information from NASA. By integrating this data with information from the National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON), the web portal will track the effect of Climate Change on wildlife communities. 

The satellite, airborne and ground-based data helps in understanding larger impacts such as migration. 

Advanced Phenological Information System (APIS)

APIS uses a series of software to combine millions of field observations, satellite data, and near-surface cameras that explore and synthesize theology observations. Information from MODIS PhenoCam and NEON from different time and scales provides a better understanding of phenology. 

Researchers can use APIS to create maps and determine the seasonal trends and response of endangered and invasive species to temperature and rainfall changes. 

EcoSIS: plant colour speaks their health

Ecological Spectral Information System is there to supply data to the above three projects. Fresh and healthy canopy reflects a vibrant green colour. Changes in spectra are a sign of changing health of the vegetation. 

EcoSIS is a portal to understand vegetation health by using the spectral data. It provides the facility of adding and discovering spectral information about the plants. The team is also developing a prototype, the Geospatial Spectroscopy Processing Environment (GeoSPEC) on the Cloud, to ease the access and use of spectral details. 

These projects are funded under NASA's AIST program. Increasing access to science data can make a big difference in conserving endangered species.