How this lockdown is having unintended benefits for climate
Coronavirus has turned into a global epidemic. It had started out from China and has spread to at least 17o countries resulting in economies crumbling down, stock markets crashing and people religiously practicing social distancing. On top of all of it, there still seems to be no identifiable cure to the disease. With all this going down there is a silver lining which can be seen in terms of unidentified benefits for the climate. It cannot be said for sure that they will exist in the long term but right now the difference can be observed. So here are some factors that could help the climate.
Clear waters in Venice
The first one of them being the Canals in Venice are clearer than what they have been in nearly 60 years. Due to the recent lockdown and everybody self-isolating themselves. There has been less boat traffic which in turn makes the water churn less. This doesn’t mean that the water quality has gotten better or cleaner but that the sediments don’t appear on top of the water surface. While this triggered some news about dolphins jumping in the canal waters, that was entirely fake as confirmed by National Geographic.
Reduction in emissions and greenhouse gases
Another change that has been observed is that emissions have been down and the credits can be given to Coronavirus. The analysis conducted by Carbon Brief suggested. There has been a 15% – 40% reduction in the output produced by key industrial sectors and has lead to a 25% depletion in the emission of Carbon di Oxide (CO2) gases over the past few weeks. the local government is still insisting on business to remain shut and to maintain the same policies.
NASA also released two images of China which showed Nitrogen Dioxide levels were recorded to be less than earlier. The first image reveals pollution over the cities and the other shows that it appears to have disappeared. NO2 is closely related to fossil fuel burning and the average levels were seen to be 36% less than earlier.
Improvement in air quality
With countries and cities adopting work form home and implementing social distancing. The need to travel has gone down significantly according to the researchers at Columbia university Traffic levels in New York were estimated to be down by 35%. Their research also suggested that there was a drop in CO2 as well as Methane over New York. China has also shown signs of improved air quality said a researcher from Stanford University.
The fact which is quite surprising is that the global death toll from air pollution estimates to be 7 million. There seemed to be no significant change for this fact but the lockdown due to coronavirus has resulted in the betterment of this situation.
“Their research also suggested that there was a drop in CO2 as well as Methane over New York. China has also shown signs of improved air quality said a researcher from Stanford University.”
Well, traveling and especially flying comes with certain costs to the environment. One of the biggest contributors to CO2 emissions in the aviation industry. Globally it accounts for around 2.4% and with other gases which are used and water vapor trails produced in all it accounts for around 5% of global warming. With the ongoing crisis and countries opting for shutting its border, the aviation industry is in a free-fall right now. This turns out to be quite beneficial for the environment now what is left to see is. For how long will this continue.
For these changes to continue in the long run. The important thing is to see that after we deal with this pandemic. and when things start to return to normal. Will, the government uses the same old methods to boost start their economy or will they try to make these changes permanent and alter their strategies for bringing the economy back to normal. We as responsible citizens now have to be very cautious in the choices we make and the impact it has on the environment around us. [Image: Milaap]
Shreya is an intern with SheThePeople.TV