Shutdown of public areas drops pollution levels measured by satellites

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COLUMBUS (WCMH) — One of the consequences of lockdowns in a number of countries around the world is a reduction in global air pollution, based on satellite images analyzed by NASA and the European Space Agency.

Emissions from power plants, industrial facilities (refineries), and vehicles (fuel combustion) release nitrogen dioxide and microscopic particles into the air that impact respiratory function. With the advent of public closures (“shelter in place”) and diminished traffic, significantly lower amounts of nitrogen dioxide have been observed around high population centers in the U.S. and Europe.

NASA and European Space Agency (EAS) satellite time-lapse data for the period of January through March 2020 reveal much improved air quality, which is good for our health and immune system, especially for those who suffer from respiratory and heart ailments.

The Copernicus Sentinel-5P satellite scanning the skies over Europe showed a dramatic reduction in nitrogen dioxide over Italy, notably in the north since the quarantine.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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