UN: Brief Gains In Air Quality In 2020 Over COVID Lockdowns | News

September 3, 2021 0 Comments



The U.N. weather agency says the world and especially urban areas experienced a brief and sharp drop in emissions of air pollutants last year

Highlights
  • Some types of pollutants continued to emerge during lockdowns: UN
  • COVID-19 proved to be an unplanned air-quality experiment: UN
  • Nitrogen oxides destroy ozone in the air: WMO

Geneva: The UN weather agency says the world — and especially urban areas — experienced a brief, sharp drop in emissions of air pollutants last year amid lockdown measures and related travel restrictions put in place over the coronavirus pandemic. The World Meteorological Organisation, releasing its first ever Air Quality and Climate Bulletin on Friday, cautioned that the reductions in pollution were patchy — and many parts of the world showed levels that outpaced air quality guidelines. Some types of pollutants continued to emerge at regular or even higher levels.

Also Read: Air Pollution Could Cut Life Expectancy By 9 Years In North India: US Study

“COVID-19 proved to be an unplanned air-quality experiment, and it did lead to temporary localised improvements,” said Petteri Taalas, the WMO secretary-general.

But a pandemic is not a substitute for sustained and systematic action to tackle major drivers of both population and climate change and so safeguard the health of both people and planet.

The WMO study analysed changes in air quality around the main pollutants, including sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide and ozone. The Geneva-based agency noted an “unprecedented decrease” in pollutant emissions as many governments restricted gatherings, closed schools, and imposed lockdowns. Oksana Tarasova, head of WMO’s atmospheric environment research division, said the impact of such measures on major pollutants was short-lived. When measures to reduce mobility mean “there are no cars on the street, you see the improvement in air quality immediately. And of course, as soon as the cars go back on the street, you get the worsening back”.

That compared to “long-lead greenhouse gases” behind global warming like carbon dioxide, whose atmospheric levels can take many years to change. WMO cited declines of up to nearly 70% in average nitrous oxide levels and up to 40% drops — recorded in southeast Asia — of average levels of tiny particulate matter in the air during full lockdown measures last year, compared to the same periods from 2015 to 2019.

But ozone levels, for example, stayed at similar levels or even rose in some places. Carbon monoxide levels fell in all regions, especially South America. One conundrum for policy makers is that some pollutants like sulfur dioxide in the air actually help to cool the atmosphere, partially offsetting the impacts of climate change. Ms Tarasova said air quality was “very complex” and noted that events like wildfires in Australia, smoke from biomass burning in Siberia and the US, and the “Godzilla effect” — in which sand and dust drift from the Sahara Desert across the Atlantic to North America — also had effects on air quality last year.

Also Read: Air Quality Commission Asks NCR States To Adopt ISRO’s Protocol For Farm Fire Estimation

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene

World

21,97,98,079Cases

18,31,45,168Active

3,21,00,001Recovered

45,52,910Deaths

Coronavirus has spread to 195 countries. The total confirmed cases worldwide are 21,97,98,079 and 45,52,910 have died; 18,31,45,168 are active cases and 3,21,00,001 have recovered as on September 4, 2021 at 3:51 am.

India

3,29,45,907 42,618Cases

4,05,681 5,903Active

3,21,00,001 36,385Recovered

4,40,225 330Deaths

In India, there are 3,29,45,907 confirmed cases including 4,40,225 deaths. The number of active cases is 4,05,681 and 3,21,00,001 have recovered as on September 4, 2021 at 2:30 am.

State Details

State Cases Active Recovered Deaths
Maharashtra

64,77,987 4,313

53,999 139

62,86,345 4,360

1,37,643 92

Kerala

41,51,455 29,322

2,46,989 6,253

38,83,186 22,938

21,280 131

Karnataka

29,53,064 1,220

18,430 26

28,97,254 1,175

37,380 19

Tamil Nadu

26,19,511 1,568

16,370 108

25,68,161 1,657

34,980 19

Andhra Pradesh

20,18,200 1,520

14,922 220

19,89,391 1,290

13,887 10

Uttar Pradesh

17,09,401 15

239 19

16,86,308 21

22,854 13

West Bengal

15,50,664 686

8,694 40

15,23,487 715

18,483 11

Delhi

14,37,874 35

362 18

14,12,430 17

25,082

Odisha

10,10,072 849

6,563 7

9,95,474 835

8,035 7

Chhattisgarh

10,04,565 37

381 4

9,90,628 40

13,556 1

Rajasthan

9,54,116 8

86 2

9,45,076 6

8,954

Gujarat

8,25,461 16

149 2

8,15,230 17

10,082 1

Madhya Pradesh

7,92,215 18

101 10

7,81,598 8

10,516

Haryana

7,70,534 12

645 2

7,60,208 12

9,681 2

Bihar

7,25,734 6

80 10

7,16,000 16

9,654

Telangana

6,59,007 318

5,736 73

6,49,391 389

3,880 2

Punjab

6,00,745 30

351 2

5,83,957 30

16,437 2

Assam

5,91,117 564

6,505 270

5,78,929 828

5,683 6

Jharkhand

3,47,933 11

141 2

3,42,660 13

5,132

Uttarakhand

3,43,070 36

410 27

3,35,273 9

7,387

Jammu And Kashmir

3,25,714 96

1,380 60

3,19,925 36

4,409

Himachal Pradesh

2,14,193 189

1,767 21

2,08,818 206

3,608 4

Goa

1,74,250 104

896 17

1,70,151 120

3,203 1

Puducherry

1,23,929 127

894 57

1,21,220 70

1,815

Manipur

1,14,774 272

3,267 53

1,09,715 323

1,792 2

Tripura

83,197 70

826 52

81,568 122

803

Meghalaya

76,504 193

2,295 20

72,886 172

1,323 1

Chandigarh

65,114 4

40 3

64,260 1

814

Mizoram

62,817 825

10,517 134

52,080 690

220 1

Arunachal Pradesh

53,217 61

793 36

52,162 96

262 1

Nagaland

30,244 40

757 21

28,861 59

626 2

Sikkim

30,070 45

989 66

28,708 109

373 2

Ladakh

20,576 3

70 2

20,299 1

207

Dadra And Nagar Haveli

10,665 2

6 2

10,655

4

Lakshadweep

10,348

22 3

10,275 3

51

Andaman And Nicobar Islands

7,570 3

9 2

7,432 1

129





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