The whole world seemed to be healing itself as countries underwent lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic that infected over 200,000 people as of this writing. This may have been a positive outlook for the future if it weren’t for the national state of an emergency happening across the globe all caused by infectious microbes.
Still, the scientists have shared such positive change that is associated with the coronavirus disease.
Recently in Italy, the amount of nitrogen dioxide- responsible for air pollution- was observed to have been decreased drastically since the country’s lockdown through the image satellites, according to European Space Agency (ESA). The satellite used was the Copernicus Sentinel-5P satellite, which is stated to be the most accurate instrument to detect air pollution levels throughout the world. The images below showed a significant decline in nitrogen dioxide in the Po valley, in the north part of Italy, declared by Claus Zehner, ESA’s Copernicus Sentinel-5P mission manager.
Comparing images from single days is suggestive at best. For ex, day selection is important there is more activity during weekdays than in weekends. Here are displayed two weekend days one-month apart. The decrease is clear. Yet this needs to be with independent obs networks. https://t.co/LqK2b3Vn9H pic.twitter.com/rwpFjSJDJT
— Santiago Gassó (@SanGasso) March 12, 2020
This is what the canals looked like as of late in Italy, in which citizens have noticed the change as well in passing, declaring that the canals in Venice are crystal clear since there is no traffic at all, which were usually murky, that the dolphins took a swim in the newly cleaned waters.
This phenomenon isn’t only happening in Italy. Lockdown in Singapore had attracted certain animals to go out and enjoy with little to no human presence is around.
Meanwhile, in Yunnan Province, China, a group of 14 elephants trespassed into a village. With no one to look after them due to the quarantined measures, they ended up drinking 30kg of corn wine and got so drunk that they fell asleep in a nearby tea garden as they were looking for food.
Scientifically, based in Science Alert’s article, Stanford University environmental resource economist Marshall Burke made some calculations about the recent air pollution drop over parts of China.
Aside from nitrogen dioxide and animals coming out to play, there are also significant positive changes in the light of inactive demand for coal and oil that results in carbon emission drop in China. According to a study published on Wednesday by the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA) in Finland, China’s carbon emissions have dropped by least 100 million metric tonnes over the past two weeks, which is nearly six percent of global emissions during the same period last year.
However, it is said that all of these changes will be temporary, according to environmentalists as the coronavirus pandemic dwindles down and everyone can continue their outside lives and might result in worse conditions in terms of offsetting the inactivity period for industrial businesses.
“After the coronavirus calms down, it is quite likely we will observe a round of so-called ‘retaliatory pollutions’ – factories maximizing production to compensate for their losses during the shutdown period,” said Li Shuo, a policy adviser for Greenpeace China.