Coronavirus: NASA Reveals How China’s Lockdown Drastically Reduced Pollution
- As coronavirus spread throughout Wuhan, Chinese officials stopped planes, trains, subways, and heavily limited vehicles. This was the first impact on reducing pollution, which continued to spread as the virus spread throughout China.NASA and the European Space Agency used satellite images to detect how nitrogen dioxide (NO2) changed over China since the beginning of the year. Nitrogen dioxide is a gas released by burning fossil fuels, a major pollutant coming from transportation and factories.Since the outbreak has led to reduced travel and shut down factories, the levels of NO2 have significantly decreased over China.The map below shows how NO2 concentration changed from the period right before the Chinese government shut down transportation and factories compared to after the shutdown. The darker red areas show higher concentrations of NO2, centered primarily around Beijing.