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US News Coronavirus lockdowns cause drop in air pollution across Europe

08:15  30 march  2020
08:15  30 march  2020 Source:   news.sky.com

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The dramatic slowdown in economic activity across Europe as a result of Coronavirus lockdowns can already be seen from space. The European Union’s Copernicus Sentinel-5P satellite has recently mapped air pollution across Europe and China and has revealed a significant drop in

The nationwide shutdown caused by the coronavirus outbreak has led to big drops in air pollution across the UK’s major cities, new data analysis shows. Current easterly winds are bringing additional pollution from continental Europe to Britain. The data shows drops in tiny particle pollution of a

(Video by CNBC) 

Air pollution has decreased in urban areas across Europe, as cities continue to be locked down to prevent widespread outbreaks of the coronavirus.

a large city landscape: Pollution levels in Europe © Reuters Pollution levels in Europe Cities including Brussels, Paris, Madrid, Milan and Frankfurt showed a reduction in average levels of noxious nitrogen dioxide from 5 to 25 March, compared with the same period last year, according to new satellite images.

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Air pollution in London has dropped by almost a third as people working from home or going into self isolation due to the coronavirus pandemic. The impact of lockdowns in places like Italy and China have seen an even more dramatic drop in dangerous emissions from industry, air travel and cars.

The nationwide shutdown caused by the coronavirus outbreak has led to big drops in air pollution across the UK’s Current easterly winds are bringing additional pollution from continental Europe to Britain. The data shows drops in tiny particle pollution of a third to a half in London, Birmingham

a close up of a map: Air pollution data obtained before and after Spain was locked down. Pic: Sentinel-5 satellite images © Reuters Air pollution data obtained before and after Spain was locked down. Pic: Sentinel-5 satellite images

The images, released by the European Space Agency, show the changing density of nitrogen dioxide, a harmful gas emitted when fossil fuels are burnt at high temperatures, most commonly at power plants and in motor vehicles.

Daily weather events can influence atmospheric pollution, so the satellite pictures took a 20-day average and excluded readings where cloud cover reduced the quality of the data.

a close up of a map © Reuters In Madrid, average nitrogen dioxide levels decreased by 56% week-on-week after the Spanish government banned non-essential travel on 14 March.

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LONDON (Reuters) - Air pollution from nitrogen dioxide has fallen by an estimated 40% in three European cities, according to new satellite data released by the European Space Agency (ESA), coinciding with a widespread lockdown to curb the spread of the coronavirus .

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China recorded a drop in nitrogen dioxide pollution in cities during February, when the government imposed draconian lockdown measures to contain the virus.

a close up of a map © Reuters Pollution over parts of Italy also dramatically fell as the entire country was placed in lockdown. 

However, in some regions of Poland nitrogen dioxide levels remained relatively high during the period despite its lockdown, perhaps due to the prevalence of coal-based heating.

a close up of a map: Air pollution data obtained before and after France was locked down. Pic: Sentinel-5 satellite images © Reuters Air pollution data obtained before and after France was locked down. Pic: Sentinel-5 satellite images Countries that went into lockdown later - such as Britain, which did so on 23 March - look set for a pollution reprieve in coming weeks.

Air pollution can cause or exacerbate lung cancer, pulmonary disease and strokes. It causes around 400,000 premature deaths each year in Europe.

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