Monday, March 30, 2020

The Falling Air Pollution Map

Gizmodo has created an interactive map which allows you to compare air pollution around the world from before and after the coronavirus outbreak. The Earther Time Series map uses a slide control to allow you to directly compare NO2 levels across the globe on four separate dates from 2019 to 20 March 2020.

The map uses data captured by the European Space Agency’s Sentinel-5P satellite. The maps show nitrogen dioxide levels. Nitrogen dioxide is produced by burning fossil fuels and is created by motor vehicles and electricity power plants.

The Gizmodo article accompanying the map, Coronavirus Has Slashed Global Air Pollution, includes a note to remember that these are just four snapshots of NO2 levels around the world. Lots of things can effect the readings, such as weather patterns and natural sources of NO2. Despite this the reduction in NO2 levels in many locations around the world appears to be pretty clear. In their article Gizomodo examines in more detail the drop in NO2 levels in the different regions of the USA.

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