How much our planet has gotten better since quarantine

According to satellites, there has been a noticeable decline in air pollutants due to decreased transportation

While the world is under a pandemic, people have changed their everyday routine to fight COVID. In doing so, they’ve unknowingly given our planet a time to take a deep breath.

According to satellites, there has been a noticeable decline in air pollutants due to decreased transportation. With people staying at home, there is less activity in the industrial, business, and transportation, causing a significant reduction of atmospheric nitrogen dioxide. Now that transportation sites are emptier, countries such as China have noticed the air pollution growing incredibly lighter in their cities.

Due to the drop in motor vehicles and bus traffic, there has been a major decrease of nitrogen dioxide in Philadelphia. This harmful pollutant is dangerous for human health and is known to cause respiratory diseases and damage airways, leading to difficulty breathing and coughing. However, since the coronavirus and shutdown, NO2 has dropped a considerable amount of 22% compared to 2019.

Continuous activities of the pumping of carbon dioxide in coal and oil industries have also found a decline. According to the Earth Observatory by NASA, emissions are at least 25% lower than it was in 2019.

Although researchers at NASA/USRA confirm that this doesn’t necessarily mean all air pollution is gone, it is a great start to change.

National Parks such as Yosemite, which house countless animals, have noticed deers, coyotes, and other animals venturing around ever since the park was closed off to people.
A photographer at the Los Angeles Times stated, “deer, bobcats, coyotes and bears no longer have to deal with the hordes of camera-toting tourists vying to capture nature. They now roam unfettered.”

National Parks aren’t the only location where animals have come out of hiding. Ever since roads have become emptier with fewer people around, wildlife has been discovered just about everywhere. With beaches vacant, sea turtles such as leatherbacks have been spotted along the coastal lines. Hoboken, a city in New Jersey, has reported sightings of seals, deers, hawks, and eagles in their area. In Northern California, the Bay Area, frequent sightings of coyotes, bobcats, and mountain lions have been reported during the quarantine.

So while the pandemic is a tragedy amongst most, economic effects, deaths, mental health outcomes, and many more, there is a bright side for Earth.

“We can view this as undeniable proof to everyone — even skeptics — that the fight against the climate crisis is in our hands.” – Stephanie Osmanski from Green Matters.