China is breathing cleaner air (and that’s because of the coronavirus)

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Air pollution in China has fallen. This is apparent from satellite images from NASA. As a result of the coronavirus outbreak in China, many factories are closed, fewer journeys are made, and millions of people are in quarantine.

China has taken drastic measures to stop the virus from spreading. The result is that less nitrogen dioxide (NO2) ends up in the air. Nitrogen dioxide is a harmful gas that is emitted by industry, power plants and combustion engines.

The amount of nitrogen dioxide can be seen on the NASA images (above) before and after the start of the quarantine measures.
“This is the first time that I have seen such a drastic fall in such a large area,” says Fei Liu, air quality researcher at NASA.

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