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Wed 1 Apr 2020 05:33 PM

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GCC sees drop in air pollution amid Covid-19 lockdowns

Measures aimed at curbing the spread of the virus have also led to reduced nitrogen dioxide levels and improved air quality

GCC sees drop in air pollution amid Covid-19 lockdowns

A picture showing the GCC's reduced NO2 levels, and published by the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre 

The GCC countries have seen a drop in nitrogen dioxide (NO2) concentration between 26th November, 2019 and 27th March, 2020, according to an image released by the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC), reported Emirates news agency WAM. 

The drop in levels beginning late-February coincides with precautionary measures such as lockdowns that were introduced by countries around the region to prevent the spread of coronavirus. 

NO2, which is mainly produced through engines, power generation and other industrial processes, decreased a result of the lockdowns, which saw fewer vehicles on the roads and even fewer planes taking flights. The reduction has, in turn, improved air quality.

The image was published by the Remote Sensing Department at MBRSC using data acquired by the European Space Agency's Sentinel-5P mission. 

In March, NASA and the European Space Agency noticed a dramatic drop in NO2 emissions in China after its lockdown in February. They also saw similar decreases in air pollution over Norther Italy a few weeks later.

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