NASA Model Details Drop in Pollution Due to COVID-19 Pandemic
The difference in daily life brought on by the coronavirus pandemic reduced nitrogen dioxide emissions by 20%.
- By Nikki Johnson Bolden
- Nov 23, 2020
NASA researchers discovered in November that restrictions put in place because of COVID-19 caused significant reductions in certain air pollutants, reports the agency.
Using computer models, NASA compared the current state of emissions to what they would look like if the coronavirus hadn’t caused shutdowns across the globes. The models showed that since February, global nitrogen dioxide concentrations have reduced by 20%.
“We all knew the lockdowns were going to have an impact on air quality,” said Christoph Keller, lead author with Universities Space Research Association. “It was also soon clear that it was going to be difficult to quantify how much of that change is related to lockdown measures, versus general seasonality or variability in pollution.”
The model accounted for natural variations in yearly atmospheric make up, which allowed scientists to estimate the impact of the pandemic on the changes that occurred in the atmosphere.