How does water temperature impact on spread of disease?


Examining the correlation between sea surface temperatures and airborne diseases in coastal India

Key Results

Demonstrate the capacity and analytical capabilities of the underlying technical architecture

Identify correlations between sea-surface temperature and spread of various diseases in coastal areas


3DEO are partnering with Kx Technologies on a European Space Agency (ESA) project to exploit and visualise EO datasets to data scientists and engineers that are not specialized Earth Observation experts.

The market for EO based services is changing rapidly: there has been a rapid increase of data sources from new types of EO missions that are either originated from public programmes such as Copernicus, national EO missions from many countries in Europe and outside Europe, and various commercial EO missions.

The Sentinel missions are providing massive EO data collections globally and systematically updated on a routine basis. In addition, advances in Information Technology have enabled new ways of accessing and exploiting EO data. The volume of satellite EO data is rising rapidly, never before have
so many EO missions been providing observation of our planet. In the next five years, Sentinels alone will obtain approximately 25 petabytes of Earth Observation data as a result of the Copernicus programme.

Our Solution

The project covers two specific scientific themes – Climate Change, and Science and Society. In both high end processing of EO data sets are combined with a range of ground-based data from multiple sources to answer key questions:

What is the correlation between various ocean science parameters – for example sea surface temperature, or ocean colour – and the evidence or disease from epidemiology data sets
Can EO data from the Copernicus programme be a valid indicator of air pollution when compared with a wide range of ground-based data.

There is considerable evidence that the surface waters of the ocean have been warming over the last several decades. The rate of increase has not been uniform, nor is the change uniformly distributed across the surface of the ocean. Furthermore, extreme events (anomalies) have also become more frequent, according to many reports. There is also considerable evidence that the composition, distribution and growth of the bacterial communities in the ocean are governed by various environmental conditions, including temperature and ocean colour. Of particular interest is the genus Vibrio, which includes the species Vibrio cholerae, responsible for cholera. But many non-cholera Vibrio bacteria are also responsible for other forms of water-borne diseases.

The deep analytical processing of the satellite data is combined with the epidemiology data sets to produce correlation data by date range, scientific data set, and location, visualised on a 3D dashboard, thereby providing instant information at levels from the continental down to town or district.

It is estimated that 3.7 million premature deaths annually are due to high ambient concentrations of atmospheric particulate matter, from sources such as urban pollution, mineral dust and wildfires. Total air pollution health impacts are estimated to cost the European area US$ 1.575 trillion annually.
Main measures linked to health are concentrations of PM10 and PM2.5, referring to particle size below 10µm and 2.5µm respectively. Satellite measurements of aerosol from the ESA Climate Change Initiative, and new operational aerosol products from the Copernicus Sentinel-3 mission, can provide information needed for global health analysis, link of particulates to climate change and potentially early warning of extreme events.

The analytical processing of the satellite data in this use case is compared with a wide range of air quality data from around the globe and the resulting comparisons are visualised on a 3D active map, providing scientific insight.

UoS ForthERA Screenshot
UoS ForthERA Screenshot

Project Facts


European Space Agency