Coronavirus restrictions bring air pollution down globally

As the COVID pandemic forces more and more countries into quarantine, a conspicuous trend has been emerging with respect to the air pollution levels. Significant reductions in air pollutants like PM 2.5, PM 10, Nitrogen oxide (NOx) and Carbon dioxide (CO2) have been observed globally ever since the start of the outbreak in China, which reported these observations as early as mid-March. In India, the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR) has reported an average 50% drop in air pollution levels for several cities within a short span of 3 weeks i.e. mid-March (when the lockdown was implemented) to the first week of April. These declines have been attributed to the severely diminished human activities, particularly in densely populated cities like New Delhi and Mumbai.