Images from urban areas around the globe have been popping up on the internet in recent days and weeks, showing blue skies, a relative lack of pollution and most notably, a lack of people.
Coronavirus has meant that the job market has come to a halt worldwide. People are no longer driving to work, airlines are grounded and ships docked.
The result of these drastic changes is a significant drop in air pollution and carbon dioxide emissions worldwide. (RELATED: Trump Clashes With Governors Over ‘Ultimate Authority’ To Reopen The Economy)
But many in the scientific community are warning that this will not last. Some are worried that in an effort to boost economies, countries will ramp up factory production, which means higher levels of greenhouse gas emissions.
China, who saw an almost 20% drop in CO2 emissions between February and March alone, has already started sending people back into the workforce and their nitrogen dioxide levels are again on the rise, according to the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service.
China continues to invest heavily in coal-fire energy plants, despite the fact that their coal power capacity has reportedly exceeded their current demand. Forty percent of the current coal power capacities serve as an emergency backup, according to the Global Energy Monitor.
China is the biggest emitter of greenhouse gases in the world. And while the European Union and the U.S. have lowered their green house gas emissions, President Donald Trump recently made changes to oversight of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that could change America’s carbon footprint in the aftermath of coronavirus.
Tune in to see how the pandemic has affected the environment globally, and what we can expect to see when the world returns to business as usual.