General, Research, Technology

Coronavirus outbreaks significantly reduce airborne emissions

Do you think there is anything positive inthat CoVID-2019 is spreading around the planet? In general, the situation looks alarming: a record drop in demand for airline tickets, the cancellation of important public events, the collapse of oil prices, the threat of a financial crisis - what’s really good? And from the latest statement by experts of the World Health Organization (WHO) that the coronavirus with us at least until the summer, it becomes somehow uncomfortable. But if you look closely at the current situation on the other hand, you will notice that the amount of harmful emissions into the atmosphere has significantly decreased since the beginning of the epidemic. And this is good.

China's air pollution is a serious problem

Not only coronavirus

I think everyone noticed the onset of "infodemia" - aboutcoronavirus today is not heard unless lazy. Television, radio, Internet with daily reports on the number of infected are, to put it mildly, pumped. I don’t argue, we have reasons to worry - CoVID-2019 has infected more than 100 thousand people around the world, and recently, scientists have come to the conclusion that the virus is mutating. We talked about this in more detail in our special material. However, if you slightly “muffle” the news noise and take the habit of washing your hands thoroughly, you can look around a bit. It is possible that even in such an unpleasant situation, you can find something positive.

January pollution levels contrast with February

That's exactly what NASA experts did. Recently, representatives of the American space agency said satellite images show a sharp decrease in pollution over China after the outbreak of coronavirus. Recall that the first cases of infection with a new coronavirus were recorded in Wuhan in December last year. Since then, the Chinese government has taken unprecedented quarantine measures, which, according to WHO experts, have been effective. The fight against the outbreak led to the abolition of travel within the country and a partial stop to industry. NASA satellite imagery shows that the level of nitrogen dioxide - toxic gas from vehicles, power plants and factories - plummeted after the introduction of mass quarantine.

Previously, scientists found that coronavirusdestroyed at least a quarter of harmful greenhouse gas emissions in China in just two weeks in mid-February. The closure of industrial plants and the request for people to stay at home led to a sharp reduction in the burning of fossil fuels - a key cause of climate change - in the world's largest producer of greenhouse gases.

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According to The Independent, Fei Liu, Researcherair quality at the Goddard Space Flight Center, NASA said it was the first to see such a dramatic drop in emissions of harmful substances into the atmosphere over such a large area. NASA researchers also said that
reduction in pollution levels was noticeable at firstnear Wuhan, but eventually spread throughout the country. It should be noted that in the past, such a decline was observed only during the 2008 economic crisis. However, that time the fall was more gradual.

NASA maps compare pollution levels between the first three weeks of the year and February 10-25

Can CoVID 2019 help fight climate change?

Let me remind you that at the end of last year 11 thousandscientists from around the world have declared an extreme climate. The anthropogenic factor, along with population growth, threatens the lives of future generations and the existence of wildlife. Moreover, climate change is already negatively affecting our lives today, and fires in Australia are a direct result of global warming. To prevent the worst-case scenario, the life of modern society must change significantly. According to scientists, there are basic criteria that can help reduce CO2 emissions. Among them are a change in attitudes toward consumption, a decrease in the number of flights, a halt to the extraction of fossil fuels, and many others. Read more in this material.

And what do you think will lead to the further spread of coronavirus? Share your opinion in the comments and with the participants of our Telegram chat

Thus, despite all the horror of the situation,CoVID-2019 outbreak can help combat rapid climate change. Because before the outbreak, no one was in a hurry to take decisive action in the fight against climate change.