When the lockdown of Wuhan was decreed on January 23, we were able to see the first effects of the quarantine on the environment.
Pollution in China dropped to historical levels. Only in 3 weeks the country stopped emitting 150 million tons of C02. A reduction of 25% that represents 6% globally.
With the paralysis of half the world, nature spread through cities and rural areas as before. During this period of time, we were able to see incredible samples of its beauty.
An important lesson that we must not forget and we should all bear in mind: the planet can go on without us.
In this article we are going to analyze the benefits of quarantine for the environment.
Reduction of the emission of CO₂
What happened in China with the city of Wuhan, was only a warning to the rest of the world. In less than two months, Italy, Spain and half of Europe had already confined their population. With this, the beneficial effects of the quarantine did not take long to be seen in the natural environment.
The closure of airspace, educational and leisure centers, telework and the end of life as we know it, had begun. We had to stop our hectic lifestyle and it took a few days for the planet to notice.
Suddenly, you could hear the silence in the streets, pollution-free cities and kerosene-free skies, we listened to the little birds and we saw the stars.
The data from the Asian countries were extended to the European and American continents. With a 50% and 70% drop in global mobility, CO₂ emissions fell 17% on average per day. In areas where the quarantine was strict, the reduction was 30%. Here we can see how the variations were according to the sector.
According to Corinne Le Quéré, from the University of East Anglia (UK): “Only the equivalent of a break like this every year could prevent us from ending the century with an increase of more than 1.5ºC”.
Cleaner and quieter cities
Without thousands of people constantly coming and going, cities around the world could look cleaner and quieter than ever. See the Trevi Fountain empty? Eiffel Tower without tourists? Gran Vía in Madrid?
The quarantine allowed us to discover what metropolis is like when there is literally no one on the street. Before this apparent calm, pollution levels dropped considerably. According to the Department of the Environment of Catalonia, CO₂ levels were reduced to 75% in April. In Madrid, the reduction was similar.
Drops that were seen and that resulted heavy rains and even snow in the middle of April. With the absence of carbon dioxide, you could breathe cleaner air and see the sky more blue than ever.
Important benefits of quarantine for the health and quality of life of the habitants.
Resettlement of the Flora and Fauna of the planet
Cities without citizens? It’s hard to remember the last time something like this happened. No wonder the quarantine has brought with it a rebellion animal. The flora and fauna returned to occupy the space that previously belonged to them. Wild boars could be seen in Catalonia or peacocks in Madrid, who witnessed, will not forget it.
Illegal hunting decreased due to limited movements and endangered species were able to reproduce. One of the examples, we find it in Kenya, where 140 baby elephants have been born since the restrictions caused by the spread of the Corona virus.
There were natural spaces that could also be recovered. For example, in the Canary Islands, the dunes of Maspalomas on the island of Gran Canaria, recovered their landscape from 50 years ago.
Less seismic vibrations
Who would say it, but our passage through the planet is very noticeable. Do you know that the expansion of the pandemic brought with it the reduction of the Earth’s seismic vibrations? Or rather, the quarantine by Covid-19, triggered the vibrations caused by human movement to be reduced.
According to National Geographic: “Anthropomorphic vibrations fell by an average of 50% between the months of March and May. ” A very significant data, since it is the quietest period of time since there are records, they add.
A study carried out by a team of scientists from Imperial College coordinated by the Royal Observatory of Belgium, stated the following:
“Our study uniquely highlights how much human activities affect solid Earth, and could allow us to see more clearly than ever what differentiates human and natural noise, “explains Dr. Stephen Hicks of the Department of Earth Science and Engineering. From Imperial College.
The brake on our fast pace of life imposed by the appearance and expansion of the serious virus that affects us, has given us the opportunity to regain silence. We have the opportunity to reflect on the consequences of our way of life and the benefits that our natural and social environment could experience if we include small gestures in our daily life habits.
We are more people than rulers. Let’s not wait for the imposition of the law. Together we can manage to stop the destruction of our world.
Travel only if you need it, separate waste at home and practice zero waste, say no to throwaway clothing, consume local, support your local environment, live and let live.