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Chinese researchers use satellite data to monitor desert locusts

Christian Fernsby |
Chinese researchers have used satellite data and meteorological data to monitor desert locusts and offer early warnings, according to the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS).

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Researchers from the Aerospace Information Research Institute of the CAS analyzed satellite data generated by China's Gaofen series satellites, Landsat from the United States, and European Space Agency's Sentinel.

They combined the data with global meteorological data and plant protection survey data and processed the data with pest prediction model and big data analysis on the digital earth science platform.

They conducted research on the temporal and spatial distribution of desert locusts' reproduction and migration in Africa in February and made predictions on their migration to China.

Results showed that considering the influence of the Northeast Monsoon and the barriers of Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, the possibility of desert locusts swarming into China is now relatively small. But if the desert locusts in Pakistan and India are not effectively controlled and expand to Nepal and Myanmar, there will be a risk of desert locusts invading southwest China's Yunnan and Tibet from around May to June.

China needs to carry out dynamic monitoring and early warning of large-scale desert locusts, and make joint prevention and control efforts with other countries, according to the team.

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