Bright side of lockdown: the Earth is healing

Installations on World Earth Day at the L.B. Nagar traffic island raising awareness about the importance of staying at home during COVID-19 lockdown, on Wednesday.  

The lockdown has brought untold misery to millions, but it is heartening to note the positives from the protracted shutdown. Owing to a significant drop in the earth’s ambient seismic noise, smaller magnitude earthquakes could be detected and there has been a noteworthy reduction in air pollution levels as vehicular traffic is low, construction and industrial activities have been halted, pointed out secretary, Ministry of Earth Sciences, M. Rajeevan, on Wednesday.

In a webcast to the scientists and staff of the CSIR-National Geophysical Research Institute (CSIR-NGRI) on the occasion of ‘50th International Earth Day’, Dr. Rajeevan, spoke on ‘Earth’s response to COVID-19 pandemic lockdown’ and the impact on the Earth’s movement, air pollution and weather observation. With the conclusive reduction of aircraft observation count and NO2 levels in the air during the lockdown, it could be said that the Earth is slowly and surely healing, he said.

Earlier, NGRI Director V. M. Tiwari remarked that to fight this global pandemic, several countries have imposed lockdown, which is also leading to some unexpected consequences like a sudden drop in carbon emissions, reduction in NO2 concentration in atmosphere compared to this time last year.

Now the questions are: Will reduction of atmospheric pollutants due to pandemic lockdown allow to quantify how aerosols impact the climate? Or will the lockdown have a lasting impact on the environment and climate, he said.

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Printable version | Jul 28, 2021 4:33:57 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/bright-side-of-lockdown-the-earth-is-healing/article31409221.ece

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