Has the air cleaner in the world because of the pandemic SARS-CoV-2?

Pandemic SARS-CoV-2 has an impact on every aspect of a once familiar life. At the time of this writing, the disease has claimed the lives of more than 40 thousand people, and the number of infected close to a million. Social distancing, which allows to contain the spread of the virus has led to a world economy that faces serious challenges that have yet to face. However, in addition to stopping industrial production, pandemic CoVID-19 resulted in a significant purification of the air in many cities around the world. Carefully observing satellite data on the emissions of harmful substances, scientists have recorded the reaction of the planet to the pandemic – for a while the air became cleaner. But should we rejoice?

Does CoVID-19 planet?

Pandemic gives scientists some idea about what’s going on with the atmosphere at the time, as our way of life and the economy are undergoing major changes. As described in the publication Popular Science Helen worden of the National center for atmospheric research (towards it), is undesirable atmospheric experiment, as the return to normal life can be very hard to increase the amount of harmful emissions.

According to available data, emissions from China decreased for several weeks after Chinese New year, when the country suffered greatly from the new coronavirus. During an epidemic of decreased coal consumption has slowed oil refining, and flights were cancelled to reduce the spread CoVID-19. Based on industry information, the researchers calculated that within four weeks after Chinese New year, carbon dioxide emissions declined by about a quarter. The results are published on the portal Carbon Brief.org. Meanwhile, satellite images from NASA shows that over China nitrogen dioxide decreased on average by 36%.

In a report published on the website towards, also pointed out that after the Chinese New year the content of nitrogen dioxide dropped to 70% below levels recorded in the same period of 2019. The level of carbon monoxide – the polluting substances, which in high concentrations decreases the amount of oxygen entering the blood flow decreased by 30-45% compared to last year. However, scientists believe that in order to confidently assert that this decline is due to the pandemic, more research is needed.

Meanwhile, due to the accelerated spread of the new coronavirus, with the industry of other countries the same thing happens that happened in China to reduce consumption of fossil fuels and the subsequent reduction of emissions. The analysis conducted by the European space Agencyshowed that emissions of nitrogen dioxide over Italy are reduced. But researchers note that the drop in the level of contamination in Europe is not as dramatic as in China, but still significantly. So, electricity consumption in Italy decreased by approximately 20%, and in Spain and France about 10%. And during the first day of exclusion in India monitoring stations of air pollution had the lowest rates of nitrogen dioxide in history.

Will the air cleaner on the planet?

It is important to understand that the current drop in the level of air pollution is temporary. However, in the future the amount of harmful emissions into the atmosphere will still have to reduce the problems caused by climate change has not been canceled. As the authors of an article in Popular Science, economic downturns generally lead to short term emissions reductions. So, during the great recession of 2008 and 2009, carbon dioxide emissions decreased by approximately two percent compared to the previous 2006 – 2007. But it was enough to overcome the crisis, as the number of emissions has increased again.