Scientists reveal reduction in global air pollution and nitrogen dioxide levels

Since the Coronavirus outbreak, scientists have reported a decrease in air pollution and nitrogen dioxide levels around the world.

The World Health Organisation recently declared coronavirus a pandemic. At the same time, scientists from around the world have revealed a decline in air pollution and nitrogen dioxide levels.

At the beginning of March, NASA revealed that pollution levels in China, where the outbreak started, had dramatically reduced. NASA’s pollution monitoring satellites detected significant decreases in nitrogen dioxide (NO2). In addition to this, analysis by Carbon Brief revealed the coronavirus has temporarily reduced China’s CO2 emissions by a quarter.

Italy, where cases have dramatically increased and is now the country with the largest number of cases outside of China, has also experienced a decline in air pollution.

New data from the European Space Agency found a reduction in nitrogen dioxide emissions. The ESA say this reduction is particularly visible in northern Italy, which coincides with its nationwide lockdown.

In the United States, pollution levels have also declined. Researchers told the BBC that New York has seen a 50% reduction in carbon monoxide emissions, compared to last year. Traffic levels are estimated to be down by 35 percent and they report a ‘solid drop’ in methane levels.