Geo-AI and random forest-based technologies to predict and monitor air quality in Indian cities to meet SDGs

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Bengaluru: Geo Artificial Intelligence and Random Forests-based tools and technologies will predict and monitor air quality in Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai, Kolkata, and other Indian cities to help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

ISRO Chair Professor Prof. P. G. Diwakar stated at the India Clean Air Summit that these computer-based tools are being used in India to pool data from various sources.

He said that when we do mathematical modelling for seamlessly estimating pollution and how to address air pollution, we need to have a geospatial outlook and modelling based on space and ground observations for Particulate Matter (PM), Nitrogen Oxides (NOx), x, , and so on, and it could be linked to Aerosol Optical Depth (AOD), derived from satellite sources like INSAT-3D and 3DR, MODIs, and so on.

Prof. Diwakar emphasized the importance of incorporating weather data into modelling frameworks, including wind speed, wind direction, surface air pressure, temperature, and humidity.

He also emphasized the need to estimate road fractions in urban settings to reduce pollution. Geo AI models using Machine Learning and random forest theory are also being developed for better future forecasting.

AI is the ability of a computer to do tasks that are usually done by humans, and for this, they require human intelligence and discernment. Whereas, Random Forest is a machine learning algorithm, which combines the output of multiple decision trees to reach a single result.

In both these cases, historical data becomes very essential. We have already compiled about 50 years of historical data, from various satellite sources and we are stacking all the possible ground based observations.

Prof Diwakar said the model, integrating geospatial data, would address air pollution, water pollution, and electromagnetic radiation, aiming to provide transformative solutions beyond conventional boundaries, demonstrating commitment to holistic solutions.

By taking the assistance of advanced technological interventions, India has seriously initiated the process to implement SDGs, and the results are being noticed and acknowledged globally.

Dr. Jai Asundi, Executive Director of CSTEP, emphasized the importance of engagement between academia, industry, and civil society in addressing air pollution. He emphasized four pillars: measuring air quality, modeling changes, policy engagement, and capacity building.

Dia Mirza, Actress and UN Environment Programme Ambassador, emphasized the impact of air pollution on placenta and unborn babies. She suggested adopting Sustainable Development Goals, reducing waste, carpooling, and refusing single-use plastic.

Dr. Pratima Singh, Senior Research Scientist, Air Quality, CSTEP said India’s air shed challenge highlights the need to integrate clean air objectives into the SDG framework. The summit aims to foster alliances among academia, industry, policy-makers, and civil society stakeholders. A strategic approach should include precision in air quality assessment, dynamic modelling of environmental shifts, effective policy engagement, and capacity building.

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