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Lowest Global Air Pollution Levels in Lockdown
Noxious Nitrogen Dioxide Level in Wuhan After the Lunar New Year (businessinsider.com)

According to the European Space Agency’s assessment of the nitrogen dioxide emissions satellite, there has been a significant air quality change in China, which has had the greatest impact on global air pollution. Factories and cars had a major impact on the amount of smog, but operations were suspended due to the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Wuhan, the ground zero of COVID-19 in Asia and an industrial city in China, had its nitrogen dioxide concentration drop by 30 percent. According to Reuters, the Lunar New Year holiday usually helps lower emissions around this time of year, but this year the pollution is much less than in previous years. Italy, another virus-hit country, declared a state of emergency and asked people to stay at home, which had a huge impact on the atmosphere there. By March, emissions from factories, cars, and other sources of supplies had decreased by 40 percent, while Venice, a famous tourist city in the northeast, saw immediate changes because of its significantly low traffic volume. Other parts of the world, such as New York, are seeing similar results. Some experts even claimed that New York saw its emissions drop 50 percent after Governor Andrew Cuomo shut down the entire state. Although the world may not view the phenomenon as a sign because of the impact COVID-19 has had, many experts believe it could be a simulator to minimize emissions levels around the world.

고수연  suyunkoh@skku.edu

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