Global NO2 concentrations declined by 20% amid pandemic restrictions
New Delhi : With the help of computer models, NASA researchers have found that since February this year when pandemic lockdown was implemented in most parts of the world, the Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) has reduced by 20 per cent globally.
Nitrogen Dioxide is an air pollutant that is mainly caused due to the burning of fossil fuels by many industries and transportations. Since pandemic struck the globe, it has been noticed that there are significant drop in air pollution.
Also, scientists are now trying to figure out how much of these changes can be attributed to the human activities.
"We all knew the lockdowns were going to have an impact on air quality," said study lead author Christoph Keller with Universities Space Research Association (USRA) at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in the US.
The analysis about air pollutants was done at the NASA Center for Climate Simulation.
For the study, the researchers took data for 46 countries - a total of 5,756 observation sites on the ground – to keep a check on real-time changes in atmosphere.
On a city-level, 50 of the 61 analysed cities show nitrogen dioxide reductions between 20-50 per cent. "In some ways I was surprised by how much it dropped," said Keller.
"Many countries have already done a very good job in lowering their nitrogen dioxide concentrations over the last decades due to clean air regulations, but what our results clearly show is that there is still a significant human behaviour-driven contribution," Keller added.