Nitrogen dioxide levels are decreasing and the air on Earth is cleaner

Web Team : Delhi
As the world scrambles to mitigate the novel global coronavirus pandemic, there is at least one silver lining among the upheaval: air pollution has dropped.

The Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS), an ongoing project led by the European Space Agency (ESA), has spotted a dramatic decline of nitrogen dioxide emissions in China. The gas is formed from burning fossil fuels – cars are particularly good at producing it – and it is responsible for the formation of smog and some acid rain.

Satellite images snapped by ESA’s Copernicus Sentinel-5P satellite estimates that the level of nitrogen dioxide in the atmosphere has declined somewhere between 20 to 30 per cent in February, compared to previous measurements for the same month in 2017, 2018, and 2019.

As the coronavirus began spreading in Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province, in late December, the Chinese government ordered its citizens to quarantine themselves at home. That meant employees were no longer going to work at power plants or factories. Fewer cars were on the roads too, all leading to a drop in nitrogen dioxide emissions.

You can watch the levels dwindle in the video below from measurements taken from 20 December 2019 to 16 March 2020.

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