Air pollution plummets amid COVID-19 outbreak

Meanwhile... pollution is dropping to record lows virtually everywhere in the world. These before/after shots show us a silver lining to the lockdown measures.

How has the lockdown affected pollution levels?

In Seoul, air pollution has visibly reduced since late January, when the authorities asked the 9 million inhabitants to limit their movements. The city, which also benefits from the drop in emissions of its neighbor China, has lowered its NO2 levels, a pollutant caused by road transport and industrial activity.

Italy is experiencing the same phenomenon. Here, lockdown measures were imposed in early March and have reduced NO2 levels by 40%. In Paris, road traffic has been almost nonexistent since the country’s lockdown on March 17. In Île-de-France, NO2 levels have dropped over 60%. However, fine particles from residential heating and agriculture are still very present in the air.

In New York, air quality is also starting to improve. NO2 emissions have decreased by more than 50% compared to usual levels. In Los Angeles, a city known for its traffic and dependency on cars, the streets are empty. On March 18 at 5:00 p.m, the usual rush hour, traffic was 71% faster than usual.


04/01/2020 6:18 AM


  • Global E.
    06/13/2020 12:41

    Air pollution is a severe concern in many parts of the world, and the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted just how human actions truly impact air quality. → | For more:

  • Taati W.
    04/21/2020 02:23

    lockdown should be law every 2-3yrs

  • Angel S.
    04/08/2020 05:46

    Debería quedarse así

  • Laura R.
    04/04/2020 23:39

    Oh yeah, this whole being on lock thing has definitely reduced our carbon footprint. Probably violent crimes too.

  • Lily M.
    04/02/2020 08:46

    So Corona is a wake up call!

  • Malta S.
    04/02/2020 07:14

    This mother nature who was warning us for years to take care of the planet and giving us signs that she wasn't happy with what we were doing. So we experienced earthquakes, cyclones, seasons out of whack, crops failing but still we wouldn't listen until finally she unleashed her fury which was this virus. Hence this is a wake up call and the most devastating one we have and will ever experience. Also note our very young are not as affected compared to the rest of the population. Of course it's just my thoughts and I don't care if you believe it or not it's mine.

  • Alice D.
    04/02/2020 06:29

    Wonderful! Though I’m not sure phenomenon is the right word for normal🌏😍

  • Tomek G.
    04/01/2020 21:35

    Not in Poland I'm afraid.

  • Gill R.
    04/01/2020 20:11

    Sad how mother nature had to create a virus to make us stop hurting our planet.

  • Georgia N.
    04/01/2020 16:46

    4 A Year!...

  • Nicholas G.
    04/01/2020 14:30

    maybe the earth is protesting against human behaviour

  • John W.
    04/01/2020 14:18

    I'm sure Gretta is happy

  • Adele S.
    04/01/2020 12:03

    Has to be telling us something hey.

  • Mel M.
    04/01/2020 11:17

    I have noticed here in Atlanta Georgia the air is much clearer. The usual haze has disappeared.

  • Andrew J.
    04/01/2020 11:10

    Too bad once all of this is done it’ll be back to the way it was. We humans never learn

  • Carol K.
    04/01/2020 10:34

    When I flew out of Delhi you could see the pollution below it was terrible! It’s wonderful cycling here with hardly any traffic but it will be back unfortunately! I try and cycle nearly everywhere.

  • Marius G.
    04/01/2020 10:26

    We still need a lot of progress. This whole pandemic just proved it possible. The relation between the residues of our society and mother nature should be zero. Nature is the only heaven we've got so far.

  • Dolly K.
    04/01/2020 10:05

    Always want world like this ....

  • Christina N.
    04/01/2020 09:55

    Well yeah obviously but its just gonna go right back to the way it was

  • John C.
    04/01/2020 09:17

    but trump said they have 38 million people . nobody knows south korea better than trump

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