World NOx and PM 2.5 air pollution drops as countries shut down amid COVID-19 spread.

April 3, 2020

In the battle against COVID-19, countries around the world are restricting gatherings, encouraging people to work from home and closing public venues. Scientists believe all of these actions are having quantifiable consequences, particularly in air quality according to a March 20, 2020 CBC report.

The change was first noticed over Wuhan, China, the city that first reported incidents of the new coronavirus that leads to the COVID-19 disease.

Satellite observations found that nitrogen dioxide (NO2) levels had dropped by 10 to 30 per cent between Jan. 1 and Feb. 25. NO2 emissions are produced by cars, trucks and power plants, among other human-related activities.

“This is the first time I have seen such a dramatic drop-off over such a wide area for a specific event,” Fei Liu, an air quality researcher at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, said in early March.

But that wasn’t the only thing that had dropped. Particulate matter 2.5 (PM 2.5), a fine particle in the atmosphere linked to serious health issues, was also reduced.

Meanwhile, other observations by a satellite gathering information for the European Commission’s European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts showed a significant NO2 drop in northern Italy.

The European Space Agency (ESA) also used the Copernicus satellite to measure NO2 over Italy. It found that NO2 decreased by 10 per cent since the lockdown began in the region.

Scientific consensus indicates the drop in air pollution levels is temporary and levels should begin increasing as COVID-19 cases and social distancing measures decline.

What this means to you
World NOx and PM 2.5 air pollution has dropped in countries that have embraced shelter-in-place strategies due to the COVID-19 virus. The drop in air pollution is likely to be temporary and will resume once virus cases decline and social distancing regulations relax.

MIRATECH can help
Contact MIRATECH for stationary engine emission NOx and Particulate Matter solutions.