The coronavirus pandemic has impacted the world in a lot of negative ways. However, one of the few positive impacts of the epidemic is that it has led to an increase in air quality in different parts of the world.
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How has the lockdown reduced pollution in major cities in Europe?
NASA recently released some satellite images showing how the coronavirus pandemic has reduced the rate of pollution in Europe and other parts of the world where the epidemic has hit hard. The change was initially noticed in China as it was one of the countries that were significantly affected by the pandemic. However, over time, the same results have been seen in other parts of the world. The European Space Agency also released reports that the European air has experienced reduced air pollution levels due to the lockdown. Below are some ways in which the lockdown has influenced the reports mentioned above;
To begin with, the lockdown has resulted in the closure of factories. By doing so, the lockdown has led to reducing emissions, which results in pollution of the environment. The shutdown of factories has resulted in low levels of NO2 over major cities in Europe and other parts of the world.
The lockdown has resulted in billions of people staying at home instead of moving around. This has led to reduced transportation and emissions from vehicles and other means of transportation. This has resulted in negative impacts on the world’s economy. However, it has helped drastic declines in the concentration of pollutants in some of the world’s biggest cities, including those in Europe.
Pollution rate of the biggest cities in Europe during the lockdown
In Europe, and most of its largest cities, the major contributor of NO2 emissions (most significant contributor of pollution) is the transport sector. The second-largest contributor is the industrial process sector. Below are some European cities whose pollution rate has decreased significantly during the lockdown;
London is one of the largest cities in Europe and the world in general. According to Dealchecker, London has experienced a significant reduction in the pollution rate since the lockdown. The website suggests that the city’s pollution rate has reduced by around 14% since the lockdown due to shutdowns in the transportation and processing sector. By April 2020, the town reported a pollution rate of 53.7, which is 13.8% less than the previous year.
Tbilisi is the capital of Georgia and its largest city. According to Dealchecker, this city has also experienced significant population rate reduction due to the coronavirus pandemic. The city has reported a decline of up to 48% in the level of air pollution. This decline can be attributed to the movement restrictions and shutdown of factories to control the spread of the virus.
Rome is the capital city of Italy and one of the largest cities in Europe. Rome is also one of the towns that was most significantly impacted by the pandemic. The city went on lockdown for several weeks. According to NAS, the NO2 concentration levels in the city reduced by up to 53% during the lockdown.
Valencia is the third-largest city in Spain. According to Science direct, the capital of Valencia experienced a pollution rate decline of 53% during the lockdown. This reduction can be attributed to the shutdown of the industrial sector, which is the most significant contributor to pollution. The impacts of the pandemic on the transport sector also played a vital role.
Nice is one of the largest and most populated cities in France. It is also one of the cities that was hit hardest by the pandemic. The city experienced a pollution rate decline of 50% after the lockdown.
This is one of the most highly industrialized cities in Italy. It is known as the centre of industry operations in Italy. The lockdown significantly influenced the city’s industrial sector. The lockdown caused the shutdown of significant factories which contribute to the pollution of the city’s air and environment. The lockdown, therefore, caused a 30% decline in the pollution rate of the city.
The reduced pollution rate as a result of the lockdown has resulted in several benefits to human health. For instance, it has resulted in reduced respiratory irritation, coughing, and other health challenges caused by air pollution. While the benefits of clean air are numerous, the main problem that the cities mentioned above and other parts of the world are likely to face is the return of the pollution rates to pre-covid19 levels after the pandemic conquered.