The global pandemic has so far been the deadliest thing in the twenty-first century. But no matter how much you hate quarantine and social isolation, you cannot deny the positive outcomes of coronavirus. Since the restriction has been put into effect, levels of pollutants have significantly gone down in the world.
BBC says that researches in New York have shared their early results regarding carbon monoxide transmitted from the cars. This aspect has noticed a 50% drop in comparison to last year. Carbon dioxide levels have also gone down and right now, we are better than any other year.
Source: Daily Mail
Scientists have said that usually, CO2 content is quite high in the atmosphere due to the decomposition of leaves. However, if the same practice is observed, the levels will go down drastically, breaking a 10-year record.
Even though travel restrictions have just started, the information on its impact suggests that this could bring a positive change in the environment. In New York City, the traffic levels in the region were predicted to go down by 35%.
However, with the entire city in social isolation, the drop has been around 50% according to researchers at Columbia University. A solid drop in methane and a 5-10% drop in CO2 was also observed in New York. Scientists have warned that when official social distancing is lifted, the number might increase drastically. But for now, the conditions have improved.
According to an analysis carried out for the climate website Carbon Brief, there has been a 25% drop in energy use in China and emissions have also decreased by the same percentage. Experts believe that if this continues, there is going to be a total fall of about 1% in carbon emissions of the country.
China and Italy are the two most affected countries right now. They are observing national lockdowns, and therefore, the nitrogen dioxide content has also decreased in both the regions. The gas is responsible for air pollution and has been categorized as a warming chemical. So amid this chaos of coronavirus, this comes as a piece of good news.
Previously, when the Flight Shame movement was started to discourage the use of aeroplanes, no one took it seriously. However, aviation has been put on hold due to international travel restriction, and so the carbon footprint has decreased significantly. With so many people working from home, the environment has also seen the changes that a different lifestyle can bring in the world.
Professor Roisin Commane of Columbia University who carried out the New York air monitoring work said, “I expect we will have the smallest increase in May to May peak CO2 that we’ve had in the northern hemisphere since 2009, or even before.” Other researchers also agree with her and say that if the lockdown continues for the entire year, we will see a major change in the climate sector.
“It will depend on how long the pandemic lasts, and how widespread the slowdown is in the economy, particularly in the US. But most likely I think we will see something in the global emissions this year,” said Prof Corinne Le Quéré from the University of East Anglia.
Well, considering how much our restriction to home has benefitted the animals and the environment in general, we cannot help but wonder what the real virus is. Let’s hope that coronavirus or no coronavirus, we try to alter our lifestyles to benefit the world we live in.