Coronavirus outbreak leads to significant improvement in air quality

Significant reductions in human activity due to the coronavirus outbreak have shown significant improvements in air quality and reduced emissions worldwide, especially in China and Italy.

"When industrial activity and economic activity cease, you are expected to have an interesting opportunity. This is an interesting opportunity to discover the situation of air quality and overall pollution when human-induced emissions are forced to stop. Reduce Pollution and gas emissions. Just when you see the image, it is very noticeable. It becomes more real, you will see the reduction is very amazing, and the reduction is fast. " World Energy and Alberto Troccoli, Executive Director of the Meteorological Council (WEMC) Research from Norwich East Anglia University, UK, told New Europe over the phone from Brisbane, the capital of Queensland, Australia, on March 20.

He said that the first similar experiment was a suspension of air traffic for several days after the tragic event of September 11. The fact that the virus caused larger and more extreme reactions was unheard of. "We will live longer during this period," he said. He added that many people must work from home and start doing things through conference calls. "I have been using teleconferencing for years, but if more and more people are using it, you will find that pollution caused by travel will be reduced, and if people are used to this type of activity," Troccoli said. , This pollution will even disappear. "

Managing Director of Europe Beyond Coal Company Mahi Sideridou told New Europe over the phone from Aarhus, Denmark ’s second largest city, on March 20, charts and NASA images indicate previous pollution in China In the hot spot, air pollution has fallen sharply due to slower industrial activity and less coal burning. "If you look at the graph of how pollution is now curving due to the response to the coronavirus, it's the same in Italy," she said.

Another thing that could happen is that people realize they can get more locally product. "This forces people to think about changing jobs. That's why I think it (pollution and emissions) may return to previous levels, but not exceed them." Troccoli cited, for example, the production of gas mask printers.

He said the crisis of coronavirus and the reduction of traffic congestion resulted in immediate reduction of pollutants, such as nitrogen dioxide (N02). The same thing happened with carbon dioxide (CO2) when most factories closed. "The problem with CO 2 is actually staying in the Earth system for a long time, so what we have missed in emissions over the past few decades will not disappear because we stopped for two or three months," Troccoli said. : "But as far as pollutants are concerned, it's ironic that a reduction in pollutants can actually make you better at respiratory diseases because you can breathe better air."

He said that China is fully aware of problems with air quality, which is why they have invested heavily in renewable energy. "You see a sharp increase in solar power, a sharp increase in offshore wind, and a sharp increase before onshore wind. They are fully aware of this, but they still need a lot of electricity and they are still running coal-fired power stations, and As far as I know, they didn't stop at any time, "Troccoli said.

"Another coincidence that it carries this virus, from a heavily polluted industrial area in China to another industrial area in Italy, its way is amazing. Especially in Padana along the River River in northern Italy On the plain, the triangular area from Venice to Milan is usually the highest polluted in Europe, not only because of emissions, but also the weather conditions there. Trocoli said. He added that the decline in pollutants and emissions is due to them Starting at a high level, it has fallen sharply.

Cedridou expresses hope that the world will soon overcome the coronavirus crisis and that people can return to their lives they knew before. But the managing director of Europe Beyond Coal added: "I hope to be When this happens, we will remember that we need to make sure we keep our climate commitments and we need to minimize pollution as much as possible.

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