As the spread of Coronavirus pandemic continues to ensue around the world, more and more parameters surrounding travel and work put in place to lessen the danger of transmission. Satellites orbiting Earth observed that a drop in carbon emissions is due to lowered pollution of air over Italy and reduced emissions of nitrogen-dioxide over China.

When the Coronavirus initially appeared in 2019 December in Hubei Province that is situated in China, industries closed and public quarantined and ceased their daily routine. Shopping, regular work schedules as well as more rapidly phased out of daily activities and the same measures embraced as the outbreak increased in Italy.

The Troposphere Monitoring Instrument aboard the Copernicus Satellite that is cooperation among the Netherlands Space Office, European Space Agency, European Commission, scientists, and data users, has been checking the changes in the atmosphere from space. 

Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service had been with the instrument, identifying a critical drop in excellent particulate matter. With the two satellite observations and computer atmosphere models, scientists found a 20 percent to 30 percent reduction in the surface particulate matter over enormous swaths of China.

The animation depicts data from Copernicus with how the nitrogen dioxide emissions have gone down from December 20, 2019, to the month of March 16, 2020, with a moving ten-day average. The emissions increase once more towards the end of March; however, there is distinct and momentous drop in late January.

The ESA’s director of Earth observations programs, Josef Aschbacher, confirmed in a statement that satellites provide a particular vantage point in monitoring health of our planet. Sentinel 5P is among 7 Copernicus satellites in orbit and currently offers the most precise nitrogen dioxide measurements, among other space trace gases.

He added that since nitrogen majorly produced by factories and traffic, it is the first-level sign of the industrial activity worldwide. What is visible is the significant nitrogen dioxide levels reduction over China, caused by lessened activity due to Coronavirus restrictions.

Claus Zehner, who is the ESA’s Copernicus Sentinel-5P mission manager, went on to add in a statement that there are still rough estimations. He confirmed that they are conducting a comprehensive scientific analysis that would soon offer more insights and quantified outcome in the coming weeks and months.

Everything about Space magazine takes one on an electrifying journey through the solar system as well as beyond, from the astounding technology and spaceship that allows people to venture into orbit, to the space science complexities.