Do you think there is anything positive about CoVID-2019 spreading across the planet? In general, the situation looks alarming: a record drop in demand for airline tickets, the cancellation of important public events, the collapse of oil prices, the threat of a financial crisis. And after the World Health Organization (WHO) announced that the coronavirus with us at least until the summer, it becomes somehow uncomfortable.
But if you look closely at the current situation on the other hand, you will notice that the amount of harmful emissions into the atmosphere has significantly decreased since the beginning of the epidemic. And this is good.
Not only coronavirus
I think everyone noticed the onset of "infodemia" - only super lazy people haven’t heard of the coronavirus today. Television, radio, Internet with daily reports on the number of infected are, to put it mildly, pumped. CoVID-2019 infected more than 100 thousand people around the world, and recently, scientists have come to the conclusion that the virus is mutating. However, if you slightly “muffle” the news noise and take the habit of washing your hands thoroughly, you can look around a bit. It is possible that even in such an unpleasant situation, you can find something positive.
That's exactly what NASA experts did. Recently, representatives of the US space agency said satellite images show a sharp decrease in pollution over China after the outbreak of coronavirus. Recall that the first cases of infection with a new coronavirus were recorded in Wuhan in December last year. Since then, the Chinese government has taken unprecedented quarantine measures, which, according to WHO experts, have been effective. The fight against the outbreak led to the cancellation of travel within the country and a partial halt to industry. NASA satellite imagery shows that the level of nitrogen dioxide - toxic gas from vehicles, power plants and factories - fell sharply after the introduction of mass quarantine.
Scientists have discovered that coronavirus has destroyed at least a quarter of harmful greenhouse gas emissions in China in just two weeks in mid-February. The closure of industrial plants and the request for people to stay at home led to a sharp reduction in the burning of fossil fuels, a key cause of climate change, in the world's largest producer of greenhouse gases.
According to The Independent, Fei Liu, an air quality researcher at the Goddard Space Flight Center, NASA said she saw for the first time such a dramatic drop in emissions of harmful substances into the atmosphere over such a large area. NASA researchers also said that the reduction in pollution levels was initially noticeable near Wuhan, but eventually spread throughout the country. It should be noted that in the past, such a decline was observed only during the economic crisis of 2008, and at that time the decline was more gradual.
Can CoVID 2019 help fight climate change?
Let me remind you that at the end of last year, 11 thousand scientists from around the world declared an extreme climate situation. The anthropogenic factor, along with population growth, threatens the lives of future generations and the existence of wildlife. Moreover, climate change is already negatively affecting our lives today, and fires in Australia are a direct result of global warming.
According to scientists, there are basic criteria that can help reduce CO2 emissions. Among them are a change in attitudes toward consumption, a decrease in the number of flights, a halt to the extraction of fossil fuels, and many others. Thus, despite all the horror of the situation, the outbreak of CoVID-2019 can help in the fight against rapid climate change.