FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) — The new normal during the global pandemic has been staying home to flatten the curve and while doing so, it has cut down on the amount of people driving.
This in turn has had a positive benefit on the amount of pollution in the United States and even around the world.
According to NASA’s Scientific Visualization Studio, the US has seen a major reduction of air pollution over its major cities.
Scientists have honed in on the pollutant nitrogen dioxide (NO2).
For instance, NO2 is emitted from the burning of fossil fuels, such as when you drive your vehicle or from factories.
A dramatic drop in NO2 has been found in areas like New York City, Washington D.C. and Philadelphia.
The graphic below shows the average NO2 each March spanning from 2015 to 2019.
According to scientists, it is important to note that these images were gathered on days with little cloud cover because satellites that observe the NO2 pollutant cannot see through clouds.
The following image depicts a significant drop in NO2 levels in March of 2020 with stay-at-home orders in effect.
The most notable changes are around New York City and Washington D.C.
NASA scientists have also found similar reductions in NO2 across the Mid-Atlantic states and Florida.
NO2 declined substantially between January and February 2020 in China when officials shut down local business and ended transportation due to COVID-19.