22 Mar 20

Pollution levels plummet as travel ban bites

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Worldwide, government-led directives to curb unnecessary travel in light of the COVID-19 pandemic are having a significant impact on the environment, the BBC reports.

Researchers at Columbia University in New York told the BBC that early results show carbon monoxide from cars is down almost 50% compared to 2019 levels. Traffic volume in the city has dropped by 35%. There has also been a 5-10% decline in CO2 and a solid drop in methane levels.

Pollution drop in China and Italy

The findings echo what’s happened in China and Italy over the past few weeks. China has experienced a 25% decrease in energy use and emissions, while both it and Northern Italy have recorded notable falls in nitrogen dioxide. China’s Ministry of Ecology and Environment said air quality in the Hubei province improved by 21.5% in February.

As the global travel ban persists and citizens continue to socially isolate and work from home, a range of emissions in many countries are expected to fall.

Authored by: Alison Pittaway