Through satellite images published by the US Space Agency (NASA) and the European Space Agency, a decrease in China’s emissions of nitrogen dioxide, which is mostly caused by the use of fossil fuels, was observed in January and February. This was caused by the economic slowdown that this country witnessed, during the quarantine period.
In Italy, data obtained from satellite images revealed that nitrogen dioxide emissions also decreased in the north of the country, and even the waterways in Venice appeared more clear, due to the sharp decline in tourist boat traffic. In India, the nationwide curfew imposed on March 22nd brought nitrogen dioxide pollution to an all-time low in the spring, according to the Energy and Clean Air Research Center.As for North America, which is one of the most polluting regions in the world, similar developments will likely occur, coinciding with the start of a large-scale economic downturn in various parts.
This does not mean – of course – that the fight against greenhouse gas emissions requires that the world face a severe health crisis like the one it is going through now. But what is happening now should give us reason to think hard about the impact of human activities – including mobility, travel and trekking – on the condition on our planet’s surface.
In light of these amazing statistics, which are reinforced by the remarkable indicators we see of the positive environmental repercussions of the world’s population remaining in their homes to defeat the threat of the Corona epidemic. We have to ask the question: Should we return to the way we used to travel before, when we are allowed to?