During the first two months of the pandemic, the world saw empty streets and parks. So, it’s not surprising that we’ve seen environmental improvements. It wasn’t easy for people to sacrifice the fun of going out. However, our time in quarantine paid off, as the decrease of human activity positively impacted the Earth! Right before re-opening, scientists observed air and water quality in different regions.
According to Science Direct, air pollution has been reduced by 30% in Wuhan, the USA, and Italy. Also, air travel reduced by 96%. The most significant impact is the absence of toxic nitrogen dioxide (NO2). NO2 is produced when fossil fuels are burned and large quantities emit from planes. Poor air quality causes respiratory problems, and in severe cases can cloud the sky. We see this in Beijing and London’s infamous smog. Additionally, the smog in heavily industrialized regions has thinned out. Finally, NO2 is emitted from cars too. So, less vehicle traffic has also contributed to overall air quality.
Many industrial factories either dropped in production or shut down. This resulted in the absence of toxic clouds. These come from smokestacks and linger in the air. CNN reported that some residents of India’s major industrial regions, say they can see the Himalayas for the first time in years. In fact, air pollutants contributed to the spread of COVID-19. Respiratory particles hang in the smoky air. Since air pollution dropped and people are protected with masks, our skies have cleared of much NO2 and C-19. Now, our atmosphere is able to breathe!
Market Watch reported that India’s Ganges River is flowing with clean, blue water again. Parts of the 1600-mile-long river have been deemed clean enough for human use. In addition, Central Texas rivers were able to stay bottle and can-free, thanks to the absence of river tubers. Therefore, the bass in the Comal and Guadalupe are thriving. Now, endangerment poses less of a threat to the protected Texas Wild Rice of the San Marcos River. Every aspect of our environment is connected. Less polluted rivers contribute to less polluted oceans.
However, it’s important to note these improvements aren’t going to last long. Humans will re-emerge from quarantine. Hopefully, the notable changes will encourage people to be more environmentally conscious. Reducing NO2 emission and keeping waterways clean are the most important aspects of environmental care. It will improve our health and quality of life.
Have a fun and safe week from APPSPIRE.me! Remember to reduce, reuse, and recycle!