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Air Pollution Is Decreasing In Major Cities Due To Lockdown

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Air Pollution Is Decreasing In Major Cities Due To Lockdown

Many major cities across the globe are reporting a decrease in air pollution levels, as people continue to self-isolate to help stop the spread of coronavirus.

In Delhi, India, for example - which is known as the world's most polluted city - air quality index (AQI) levels have dropped significantly.

According to The Guardian, levels are usually 200 on a good day, with anything above 25 deemed unsafe by the World Health Organisation.

India Gate in New Delhi on 20 October 2017. Credit: PA
India Gate in New Delhi on 20 October 2017. Credit: PA
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However, with Delhi's 11 million registered cars taken off the road and factories and construction having ground to a halt, AQI levels have fallen below 20.

Dr Shashi Tharoor, a politician and author who has previously spoken out about environmental issues, has said he hopes this would be a wake-up call.

"The blissful sight of blue skies and the joy of breathing clean air provides just the contrast to illustrate what we are doing to ourselves the rest of the time," Tharoor told The Guardian.

"Today the typical Delhi AQI hovers around 30 and one blissful afternoon, after a spurt of rain, it dropped to seven."

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Tharoor added: "Seven... In Delhi! Pure joy!"

India Gate in New Delhi on 22 March 2020. Credit: PA
India Gate in New Delhi on 22 March 2020. Credit: PA

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And India isn't the only country where such promising patterns have been noticed recently.

The Himalayas have become visible from parts of India for the first time in 30 years, with many locals crediting the clean air to the country's coronavirus lockdown.

Even residents of the Jalandhar district in Punjab - nearly 125 miles away from the Himalayas - have been impressed by clearer views of the famous snow-capped mountains.

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Last month, the European Space Agency also released footage showing the decrease of air pollution over China as the country went into lockdown - along with a rise in pollution as the quarantine measures started to ease.

The animation, based on data from the Copernicus Sentinel-5P satellite, shows nitrogen dioxide emissions, which are produced by the burning of fossil fuels over China, between 20 December and 16 March.

Credit: ESA
Credit: ESA
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Credit: ESA
Credit: ESA

The European Space Agency reported: "The drop in concentrations in late January is visible, coinciding with the nationwide quarantine and from the beginning of March, the nitrogen dioxide levels have begun to increase."

Claus Zehner, the ESA mission manager, said nitrogen dioxide dropped by around 40 percent during the lockdown.

The agency continued: "By combining satellite observations with detailed computer models of the atmosphere, their studies indicated a reduction of around 20-30 percent in surface particulate matter over large parts of China."

Let's all bring some positivity, support and fun to anyone who might find themselves in isolation as a result of the coronavirus spread. Need some entertainment? Join Isolation Nation: https://www.facebook.com/groups/coronasupport/

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: World News, Pollution, News, Coronavirus

Jess Hardiman
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