Dramatic Drops in Global Air Pollution
Given the uncertain circumstances, in many countries’ people are encouraged to make changes in their daily routines. As mentioned, people are working from home, travel is reduced, and cafes, bars, and restaurants are shut. All of this is to help keep everyone safe and healthy. But without the usual crowds swarming and moving around, it means that the streets and the skies are empty.
The result? Coronavirus has dramatically affected economic activity meaning there are significant drops in air pollution around the world. This is especially so in the hardest-hit countries where citizens are quarantined at home such as in China and Italy. There are even suggestions that such pollution reductions will save almost a whopping 77,000 lives in China alone.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the European Space Agency show that their pollution monitoring satellites have discovered impressive reductions in the amount of nitrogen dioxide in Chinese skies. According to NASA “There is evidence that the change is at least partly related to the economic slowdown following the outbreak of coronavirus”.
Since the Chinese government began to stop transport links in and out of Wuhan, where COVID-19 originates from, the entire country has executed various type of confinements. Tens of millions of people have been quarantined indoors, and a huge number of factories have been temporarily shut down.
The decline in nitrogen dioxide was first noted in and around Wuhan but rates have since lessened all over the immense country.
Likewise, satellite imagery has also shown a considerate drop in nitrogen dioxide emissions all over Italy. With a substantial reduction in daily activities and emissions that usually pour out from cars, factories, and power plants, the country is blessed with clearer and cleaner skies.