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Coronavirus Lockdown: As People Stay Home, Earth Turns Wilder And Cleaner

As almost all countries across the world have imposed lockdown, the people are indoors which has resulted in a drop in air pollution and many wild animals have been seen coming out from the forests and exploring the cities

Coronavirus Lockdown: As People Stay Home, Earth Turns Wilder And Cleaner
Highlights
  • Air pollution has dropped up to 50% at some places due to COVID-19 lockdown
  • Pollution kills up to 7 million people a year worldwide: Experts
  • Scientists bat for switching to non-polluting vehicles

Washington: As people across the globe stay home to stop the spread of the new coronavirus, the air has cleaned up, albeit temporarily. Smog stopped choking New Delhi, one of the most polluted cities in the world, and India’s getting views of sights not visible in decades. Nitrogen dioxide pollution in the northeastern United States is down 30 per cent. Rome air pollution levels from mid-March to mid-April were down 49 per cent from a year ago. Stars seem more visible at night. People are also noticing animals in places and at times they don’t usually. Coyotes have meandered along downtown Chicago’s Michigan Avenue and near San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge. A puma roamed the streets of Santiago, Chile. Goats took over a town in Wales. In India, already daring wildlife has become bolder with hungry monkeys entering homes and opening refrigerators to look for food. When people stay home, Earth becomes cleaner and wilder. Conservation scientist Stuart Pimm of Duke University says,

It is giving us this quite extraordinary insight into just how much of a mess we humans are making of our beautiful planet. This is giving us an opportunity to magically see how much better it can be.

Also Read: Coronavirus Lockdown: 88 Cities Continue To Record Minimal Air Pollution With Restrictions In Place

Chris Field, director of the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment, assembled scientists to assess the ecological changes happening with so much of humanity housebound. Scientists, stuck at home like the rest of us, say they are eager to explore unexpected changes in weeds, insects, weather patterns, noise and light pollution. Italy’s government is working on an ocean expedition to explore sea changes from the lack of people. Mr. Field says,

In many ways we kind of whacked the Earth system with a sledgehammer and now we see what Earth’s response is.

Researchers are tracking dramatic drops in traditional air pollutants, such as nitrogen dioxide, smog and tiny particles. These types of pollution kill up to 7 million people a year worldwide, according to Health Effects Institute president Dan Greenbaum. The air from Boston to Washington is its cleanest since a NASA satellite started measuring nitrogen dioxide, in 2005, says NASA atmospheric scientist Barry Lefer.

Largely caused by burning of fossil fuels, this pollution is short-lived, so the air gets cleaner quickly. Compared to the previous five years, March air pollution is down 46 per cent in Paris, 35 per cent in Bengaluru, India, 38 per cent in Sydney, 29 per cent in Los Angeles, 26 per cent in Rio de Janeiro and 9 per cent in Durban, South Africa, NASA measurements show. Mr. Lefer says,

We’re getting a glimpse of what might happen if we start switching to non-polluting cars.

Also Read: Air Pollution In India Improves Amid Lockdown Due To Coronavirus

Cleaner air has been most noticeable in India and China. On April 3, residents of Jalandhar, a city in north India’s Punjab, woke up to a view not seen for decades: snow-capped Himalayan peaks more than 100 miles away. Cleaner air means stronger lungs for asthmatics, especially children, says Dr. Mary Prunicki, director of air pollution and health research at the Stanford University School of Medicine. And she notes early studies also link coronavirus severity to people with bad lungs and those in more polluted areas, though it’s too early to tell which factor is stronger.

The greenhouse gases that trap heat and cause climate change stay in the atmosphere for 100 years or more, so the pandemic shutdown is unlikely to affect global warming, says Breakthrough Institute climate scientist Zeke Hausfather. Carbon dioxide levels are still rising, but not as fast as last year.

Aerosol pollution, which doesn’t stay airborne long, is also dropping. But aerosols cool the planet so NASA climate scientist Gavin Schmidt is investigating whether their falling levels may be warming local temperatures for now. Stanford’s Field says he’s most intrigued by increased urban sightings of coyotes, pumas and other wildlife that are becoming video social media staples. Boar-like javelinas congregated outside of an Arizona shopping center.

Even New York City birds seem hungrier and bolder. In Adelaide, Australia, police shared a video of a kangaroo hoping around a mostly empty downtown, and a pack of jackals occupied an urban park in Tel Aviv, Israel. We’re not being invaded. The wildlife has always been there, but many animals are shy, Duke’s Pimm says. They come out when humans stay home. For sea turtles across the globe, humans have made it difficult to nest on sandy beaches. The turtles need to be undisturbed and emerging hatchlings get confused by beachfront lights, says David Godfrey, executive director of the Sea Turtle Conservancy. But with lights and people away, this year’s sea turtle nesting so far seems much better from India to Costa Rica to Florida, Godfrey says. He says,

There’s some silver lining for wildlife in what otherwise is a fairly catastrophic time for humans.

Also Read: Coronavirus Explainer: Why Is A Lockdown Important?

World

26,58,63,058Cases
22,65,37,591Active
3,40,69,608Recovered
52,55,859Deaths
Coronavirus has spread to 196 countries. The total confirmed cases worldwide are 26,58,63,058 and 52,55,859 have died; 22,65,37,591 are active cases and 3,40,69,608 have recovered as on December 6, 2021 at 5:12 am.

India

3,46,41,561 8,306Cases
98,416739Active
3,40,69,608 8,834Recovered
4,73,537 211Deaths
In India, there are 3,46,41,561 confirmed cases including 4,73,537 deaths. The number of active cases is 98,416 and 3,40,69,608 have recovered as on December 6, 2021 at 2:30 am.

State Details

State Cases Active Recovered Deaths
Maharashtra

66,38,778 707

10,826 23

64,86,782 677

1,41,170 7

Kerala

51,65,921 4,450

44,110 317

50,80,211 4,606

41,600 161

Karnataka

29,98,099 456

7,161 120

29,52,708 330

38,230 6

Tamil Nadu

27,30,516 724

8,041 29

26,85,946 743

36,529 10

Andhra Pradesh

20,73,730 154

2,122 27

20,57,156 177

14,452 4

Uttar Pradesh

17,10,475 24

134 18

16,87,430 6

22,911

West Bengal

16,19,257 620

7,639 17

15,92,074 627

19,544 10

Delhi

14,41,358 63

370 48

14,15,890 15

25,098

Odisha

10,50,249 189

2,154 25

10,39,673 212

8,422 2

Chhattisgarh

10,06,967 25

330 4

9,93,044 21

13,593

Rajasthan

9,54,891 17

221 8

9,45,715 9

8,955

Gujarat

8,27,707 48

349 23

8,17,263 24

10,095 1

Madhya Pradesh

7,93,241 9

133 9

7,82,580 18

10,528

Haryana

7,71,819 22

185 5

7,61,580 17

10,054

Bihar

7,26,237 6

26 4

7,14,121 2

12,090

Telangana

6,76,943 156

3,787 8

6,69,157 147

3,999 1

Assam

6,17,576 101

2,490 61

6,08,966 158

6,120 4

Punjab

6,03,488 37

361 14

5,86,519 23

16,608

Jharkhand

3,49,342 25

127 12

3,44,074 13

5,141

Uttarakhand

3,44,353 8

174 1

3,36,768 7

7,411

Jammu And Kashmir

3,37,807 161

1,706 25

3,31,620 184

4,481 2

Himachal Pradesh

2,27,518 35

755 45

2,22,911 80

3,852

Goa

1,79,174 49

412 18

1,75,375 31

3,387

Mizoram

1,36,454 92

3,101 454

1,32,846 544

507 2

Puducherry

1,29,085 29

280 14

1,26,930 43

1,875

Manipur

1,25,360 32

353 9

1,23,025 40

1,982 1

Tripura

84,858 5

90 1

83,943 6

825

Meghalaya

84,583 9

244 2

82,864 11

1,475

Chandigarh

65,488 7

58 2

64,610 9

820

Arunachal Pradesh

55,293 5

36 4

54,977 1

280

Sikkim

32,369 10

215 2

31,749 8

405

Nagaland

32,136

117 9

31,320 9

699

Ladakh

21,714 31

295 3

21,204 34

215

Dadra And Nagar Haveli

10,683

0 0

10,679

4

Lakshadweep

10,404

10 0

10,343

51

Andaman And Nicobar Islands

7,688

4 2

7,555 2

129

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Beachfront Apartments

    December 15, 2020 at 2:49 am

    Thanks for sharing its very informative for me

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