Earth Benefiting from Corona Virus

Staff Writer: Calvin Tressler 

Ever since the discovery and spread of covid-19 our world has changed drastically. Traveling was shut down along with restaurants, bars, sporting events. We were ordered to quarantine. Too many it was hell on Earth and very frightening, but behind the scenes while people were urged to stay at home, our air and water became less polluted. 

Since so many people were quarantined, that meant less people driving on the roads, which means less carbon emissions. Even in Venice, Italy the water began to become more visible, since Italy’s efforts to limit the spread of the disease, it meant less boat travel on the canals, and the changes occurred quickly. 

Clearer waters in the Venice Canals allows you to see the fish Photo Credit: Marco Capovilla

Scientist at NASA and European Space Agency were using their Pollution-monitoring satellites over china during two weeks of February and observed a drastic change in the Air Pollution. Jacqueline Klopp, the co-director of the Center of Sustainable Urban Development at Columbia University, stated “People were in their homes and really stopped a lot of the activities that lead to greenhouse gas emissions and other pollution.”  

Jordan Wildish is a project director at Earth Economics and he developed and online dashboard that tracked the air quality in San Francisco, New York City, and Seattle, and he compared them with their results from last year. In San Francisco they tracked the amount of average concentration of fine particulate matter, and they were 40% lower than last year, as for New York City they dropped 28%, and Seattle had a 32% drop all within the same time period. 

A city look at Wuhan China Photo Credit: Sleepingpanda/Shutterstock

Overall, this “terrible quarantine” has ironically brought back better air and water when there’s a contagious virus going around. However, this change in pollution could only be temporary. Experts warn that as countries’ economies bounce back and we slowly come back into the world we very well could bring the pollution back to where it was. 

Jacqueline Klopp went on, “As we move to restart these economies, we need to use this moment to think about what we value,” she said. “Do we want to go back to the status quo, or do we want to tackle these big structural problems and restructure our economy and reduce emissions and pollution?” 

Plenty of climate scientists hope that these results will shed light on the issues of pollution, and wake people up about the large footprint we leave on this Earth. Maybe if we keep some of these societal changes, we’ll see a better future for our world. 

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