‘This is primarily a consequence of lower traffic volumes, and some of the most-clear reductions have been in nitrogen dioxide, which comes primarily from vehicle exhaust. However, fine particles have also reduced significantly,” said Professor Alastair Lewis, from the National Centre for Atmospheric Science, University of York.
Although nobody dares to say it, many of us or at least some of us think about it as the right side of the coronavirus pandemic. The European Space Agency is continually monitoring the oscillations of air pollution.
Recently they have revealed a fantastic improvement of the air quality above some of Europe’s most essential and pollutant cities.
Paris, Madrid, Milan, or London are registering levels of nitrogen dioxide, and particulates (or fine particles) are up to 50% lower than the same period last year.
COVID-19 Lockdown caused the air pollution to drop significantly
Given that measurements are influenced by the weather’s oscillations as well, the scientists from the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI) used the data from the Copernicus Sentinel-5P satellite to monitor both weather and pollution over Europe for ten days.
The scientists monitored the highest pollutant cities of the most affected countries by the coronavirus: Paris, Madrid, Milan. Also, the London Air Quality Network revealed the results from monitoring the air pollution levels over London.
All the results say the same thing: the Earth’s atmosphere is healing. Unfortunately, it takes something as frightening as a pandemic for air to get cleaner and healthier.
Asthma, lung cancer, respiratory diseases, cardiovascular disease, premature delivery, congenital disabilities, low birth weight, premature death are less important than the economy, and traffic. And most likely they’ll still be. They are the consequences of particulates over human health.
They aren’t noisy killers like COVID-19, they are silent and more subtle. There are 40,000 early deaths each year in the UK alone because of air pollution. Maybe this lockdown will teach us something. We have the chance to transform it into something good, too.
As our second lead editor, Anna C. Mackinno provides guidance on the stories Great Lakes Ledger reporters cover. She has been instrumental in making sure the content on the site is clear and accurate for our readers. If you see a particularly clever title, you can likely thank Anna. Anna received a BA and and MA from Fordham University.