Lockdowns reduced nitrogen dioxide concentrations by 20%: NASA


Team Udayavani, Nov 19, 2020, 5:00 PM IST

In a recent study, NASA researchers found that COVID-19 related restrictions have reduced global nitrogen dioxide concentrations by nearly 20% since February.

Nitrogen dioxide is a pollutant primarily produced by the combustion of fossil fuels used by industry and transportation. NASA used computer models to generate a simulation of COVID-free 2020 for comparison with actual ground observations.

NASA researcher Christoph Keller, who was the project lead, said in a statement that everyone knew “the lockdowns were going to have an impact on air quality” but it was difficult to “quantify how much of that change is related to the lockdown measures, versus general seasonality or variability in pollution”.

According to First Post, The problem with coming up with a computer model to study yearly data is that no two years are the same so the model has to factor in the different variables. The researchers collected data from 46 countries and received hourly atmospheric composition measurements in near-real-time.

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