Environment Improving With Lockdown


Madison Lewis, Staff Writer, Staff Writer

As many people shelter at home due to social distancing, pollution levels are decreasing, and the environment is showing significant improvements worldwide.

The canals in Italy made news around the world when videos were filmed of swans and dolphins swimming in the water. Although viewers later found out this is not uncommon in the Venice canals, there is no doubt that they are clearer due to the decreased amount of boat traffic. The Venice waters that are usually cloudy from the boats stirring up sediment, have become clear enough to see fish swimming below. 

Not only have the canals cleared, but so has Italy’s air quality. Nitrogen dioxide (NO2) levels are down 40% in Milan. Air quality is improving in numerous other locations such as Spain, Paris, Belgium, Germany, China, America and many more. In March, low levels of NO2 in the Northeastern US were the lowest NASA has recorded since 2005. The levels were down 30% in March when compared to the same time last year. More specifically, in New York City research from Columbia University said the carbon monoxide emissions are down 50% since the traffic slowdown. 

 More record breaking news comes from India in the state of Punjab, as a result of the pollution reduction. The people were shocked to see views of the Himalayan mountains from their homes. The photos they shared show the Himalayas clearly seen from 100 miles away, estimated to be the first time in 30 years. 

The environment has benefited from the unexpected lockdown and is improving everyday. Although the positive changes are exciting, scientists are warning us not to celebrate too many short term accomplishments because they will rebound after quarantine is over.

 In order to prevent that, should new laws be thought of to regulate pollution levels after quarantine? 

For now, it’s most important to stay safe at home and do your part in slowing the spread.