Watch: The UAE reports significant improvement in air quality
Some good news in light of the global restrictions on travel…
The Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) has revealed a significant decrease in nitrogen dioxide (NO2) emissions in the GCC. NO2, otherwise known as a ‘greenhouse gas’, is caused by pollution from cars, trucks and factories and can be damaging to the respiratory system.
MBRSC reported a decrease of NO2 over the entire GCC area, through a series of snapshots. The shots show a stark comparison month-on-month from November 2019 to March 2020.
Each month the level of NO2 decreases, but in particular the dramatic drop begins in late February, when a global lockdown-process began due to the outbreak of coronavirus.
Due to a much less number of vehicles driving through the streets everyday, this demonstrates a direct link between car pollution and NO2. Much fewer planes are contributing to the pollution as well, with travel bans placed on most countries around the world.
The following GIF demonstrates the decrease in NO2 over the past six months. As you can see, November saw a much higher coverage of greenhouse gases (yellow and red), whereas in March the majority of the map is blue (much less nitrogen dioxide).
Elsewhere in the world, the effects of the population staying indoors are having an increasingly positive impact on the environment. Images are being shared online of wildlife taking over cities without the fear of human intervention.
In Italy, the famously filthy canals have cleared up, and wildlife is returning to swim in them without interruption from tourists. While in Wales, a small village has been taken over by a tribe of goats who have been roaming free thanks to the decrease in seen people out in public.
One UAE resident reported seeing gazelle roam the streets of Dubai during his daily walk. The rarely seen native animals were spotted in The Gardens area of Jebel Ali on March 31.