The coronavirus (COVID-19) has caused panic to the world, and millions of people are experiencing a great deal of anxiety and fear.
Satellite pictures from NASA suggest that, believe it or not, the coronavirus might have actually done some good.
As you probably know already, China has been on lockdown for weeks because of the new virus that originated in the city of Wuhan, and, according to NASA, the pollution that was previously as massively dangerous levels has now subsided.
The two side-by-side photos show the situation before the virus and now, and the difference is very obvious. While the first one has a large amount of ominous yellow pollution, the other one has a blue color.
The first photos show the first few weeks of January in 2019 and 2020, when the virus outbreak started, and we can see the effects of the quarantine that has been put in place in just a few weeks – there’s basically no nitrogen dioxide in the air at all.
The nitrogen dioxide, the poisonous gas that was measured, is a noxious gas that is kicked out by vehicles, factories, industrial facilities, and power stations.
Nitrogen dioxide is a by-product of burning fossil fuels and it increases the likelihood of asthma attacks at people. According to Fei Liu, an air quality researcher at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Centre, this is the first time they’ve seen such a dramatic drop-off over such a wide area for a specific event.
As the quarantine has come into effect, most businesses haven’t reopened just yet, there’s much less gas that is being pumped into the air. To add to that, NASA scientist Barry Lefer believes that the new environmental rules that have been brought in by China in recent years have also contributed to the drop in nitrogen dioxide.