Covid Lockdowns Brought Fast Global Ozone Reductions as Finds Nasa

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Covid-19 changed all of our lifes. Lockdowns did help us to stay safe at our homes but also they helped our earth too.

Emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) – which create ozone, a huge danger to human health and to climate – decreased 15% globally, with local reductions as high as 50%, according to a study led by scientists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California. By June 2020, global ozone levels had dropped to a level that policymakers thought would take at least 15 years to reach by conventional means.

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When the world went into lockdown, scientists had an unprecedented opportunity to study how human activity interacts with natural Earth system processes at regional and global scales.

China’s stay-at-home orders in early February 2020 produced a 50% drop in NOx emissions in some cities within a few weeks; most U.S. states achieved a 25% drop later in the spring.

Ozone reductions from the reduced NOx emissions quickly spread both around the globe and from the surface upward more than 10 kilometers. “I was really surprised at how large the impact on global ozone was,” said JPL scientist Jessica Neu, a co-author of the new study. “We expected more of a local response at the surface.”

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“I was very happy that our analysis system was able to capture the detailed changes in emissions across the world,” said Miyazaki. “The challenging and unprecedented nature of this work is a testament to improvements in satellite monitoring in service of societal needs.”

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The research team also included scientists from the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology in Yokohama, Nagoya University in Japan, and the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute in De Bilt.

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