COVID-19 kept us indoors and let the outdoors shine. The difference in traffic flows cleared the air. No boaters the waters cleared. Less planes, trains, and automobiles, we got a glimpse of our skylines like never. The changes in our lives made us change our patterns and had a profound impact on our environments worldwide.
“The coronavirus pandemic response has reduced pollution from many sources across many geographic regions. NOAA has launched a wide-ranging research effort to investigate the impact of reduced vehicle traffic, air travel, shipping, manufacturing, and other activities on Earth’s atmosphere and oceans. NOAA scientists are investigating the impact of decreased pollution in specific areas over the short term and will analyze measurements collected from its global sampling network of contract airplanes, towers and ground sites at laboratories in Boulder, Colorado, and College Park, Maryland. In the oceans, NOAA scientists will be assessing impacts of reduced underwater noise levels on marine life.” https://research.noaa.gov/article/ArtMID/587/ArticleID/2617/NOAA-exploring-impact-of-coronavirus-response-on-the-environment
You can see clearly at sunset, you can see the stars, you can hear the birds. Urban areas are seeing just how beautiful things are!
I have investigated various areas and saw a plethora of positive things. From Stanford:
“As people shelter in place to slow the spread of COVID-19, daily carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions have dropped by as much as 17 percent globally, according to a new study by the Global Carbon Project, an initiative led by Stanford University scientist Rob Jackson. Published in Nature Climate Change, the paper compiles government policies and activity data to pinpoint where energy demand has dropped off the most and to estimate the impact on annual emissions.”
There is some counterpoint that has been observed, besides the positive effects. In the USA there has been a drastic improvement in carbon emissions, in Europe, the Nitrogen dioxide levels have markedly decreased. In China, medical waste has quadrupled to 200tons!
From people staying at home, many lessons have been learned. My question is can we keep the improvements we have seen? I sure hope so!