Enhancing risk communication and environmental crisis management through satellite imagery and AI for air quality index estimation


Due to climate change, the air pollution problem has become more and more prominent [23]. Air pollution has impacts on people globally, and is considered one of the leading risk factors for premature death worldwide; it was ranked as number 4 according to the website [24]. A study, ‘The Global Burden of Disease,’ reported 4,506,193 deaths were caused by outdoor air pollution in 2019 [22,25]. The air pollution problem is become even more apparent when it comes to developing countries [22], including Thailand, which is considered one of the developing countries [26]. In this research, we focus and analyze the air pollution in Thailand, which has the annual average PM2.5 (particulate matter 2.5) concentration falls in between 15 and 25, classified as the interim target 2 by 2021′s WHO AQG (World Health Organization's Air Quality Guidelines) [27]. (The interim targets refer to areas where the air pollutants concentration is high, with 1 being the highest concentration and decreasing down to 4 [27,28]). However, the methodology proposed here can also be adopted in other areas as well. During the winter in Thailand, Bangkok and its surrounding metroplex have been facing the issue of air pollution (e.g., PM2.5) every year. Currently, air quality measurement is done by simply implementing physical air quality measurement devices at designated—but limited number of locations. In this work, we propose a method that allows us to estimate the Air Quality Index (AQI) on a larger scale by utilizing Landsat 8 images with machine learning techniques. We propose and compare hybrid models with pure regression models to enhance AQI prediction based on satellite images. Our hybrid model consists of two parts as follows: • The classification part and the estimation part, whereas the pure regressor model consists of only one part, which is a pure regression model for AQI estimation. • The two parts of the hybrid model work hand in hand such that the classification part classifies data points into each class of air quality standard, which is then passed to the estimation part to estimate the final AQI. From our experiments, after considering all factors and comparing their performances, we conclude that the hybrid model has a slightly better performance than the pure regressor model, although both models can achieve a generally minimum R2 (R2 > 0.7). We also introduced and tested an additional factor, DOY (day of year), and incorporated it into our model. Additional experiments with similar approaches are also performed and compared. And, the results also show that our hybrid model outperform them. Keywords: climate change, air pollution, air quality assessment, air quality index, AQI, machine learning, AI, Landsat 8, satellite imagery analysis, environmental data analysis, natural disaster monitoring and management, crisis and disaster management and communication.


© 2024 cc-by


Air Quality Index (AQI), Artificial Intelligence, Environmental Crisis Management, Hybrid supervised machine learning techniques, Landsat 8, Regression machine learning techniques, Risk Communication, Satellite images


Jitkajornwanich, K., Vijaranakul, N., Jaiyen, S., Srestasathiern, P., & Lawawirojwong, S.. 2024. Enhancing risk communication and environmental crisis management through satellite imagery and AI for air quality index estimation. MethodsX, 12. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mex.2024.102611