RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Earth is getting a little break from air pollution on this Earth Day, at least in the northeast United States.
NASA satellite measurements revealed a 30-percent drop in air pollution over the major metropolitan areas from Washington, D.C. to Boston. March 2020 shows the lowest monthly atmospheric nitrogen dioxide levels of any March during the OMI data record, which spans from 2005 to now.
Experts say weather can play a role in changes in emissions, adding further analysis will be required to better understand the change in nitrogen dioxide levels.
NASA says nitrogen dioxide is primarily emitted from burning fossil fuels for transportation and electricity generation, which means lower levels could mean changes in human activity.
“These recent improvements in air quality have come at a high cost, as communities grapple with widespread lockdowns and shelter-in-place orders as a result of the spread of COVID-19,” NASA said.
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