Pollution in Italy and the Rest of Europe Drastically Reduced Due to the Coronavirus Pandemic

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Pollution in Italy and the Rest of Europe Drastically Reduced Due to the Coronavirus Pandemic
Pollution over Europe before and after the coronavirus outbreak. Credit: ESA

Pollution across Europe, especially in Italy, are now decreasing, according to fresh satellite images from the area.

The satellite images show that emissions of the toxic gas nitrogen dioxide are decreasing across Europe. The change is most evident in northern Italy. The European Space Agency (ESA) interprets it as a result of quarantine measures and reduced travel due to the new coronavirus, similar to how emissions have previously fallen sharply in China.

“Although there may be slight variations in the measurements due to cloud cover and changing weather, we are very confident that the reduction in emissions that we can see coincides with the quarantine in Italy which causes less traffic and industrial activity,” says Claus Zehner, who is responsible for the satellite program Sentinel-5P at ESA in a press release.

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