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Industrial pollution across Asia, Europe drops - thanks to coronavirus


Global pollution has significantly declined thanks to the coronavirus pandemic which has slowed industrial production across the world.

The European Space Agency’s (ESA) Sentinel-5P earth-observation satellite, captured this development as northern Italy went into lockdown due to the deadly coronavirus outbreak.

From 1 January to 11 March, northern Italy’s nitrogen dioxide levels dropped. Simonetta Cheli of the Directorate of Earth Observation Programmes, at ESA said: “The NO2 concentration, which is basically been somehow decreasing quite impressively in the last few months.

“This decrease can be caused, certainly to the coronavirus,” he stressed. It’s a similar picture in China’s Hubei province, which includes virus epicenter Wuhan. From 20 December 2019 to 16 March, Hubei province sees a “dramatic reduction” in nitrogen dioxide emissions.

“The variation of NO2 emissions of dioxide was pretty impressive. It was certainly due to the fact that in the Hubei region in China, all activities were reduced dramatically due to the lockdown,” he added.

Readings from ESA’s Sentinel-5P satellite show that over the past six weeks, levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) over cities and industrial clusters in Asia and Europe were markedly lower than in the same period last year.