India’s air pollution has reduced drastically under the lockdown.
While the air feels fresher and skies look clearer, satellite data from different agencies prove that air quality is indeed improving.
Images captured by Copernicus Sentinel-5P satellite, show significant reduction in the concentration of nitrogen dioxide across some of the major cities of India.
When compared to the data from last year Mumbai and Delhi saw a 40-50% drop in air pollution.
Claus Zehner, ESA’s Copernicus Sentinel-5P mission manager, said:
What is interesting in these new maps are the high values of nitrogen dioxide concentrations over northeast India. Our analysis shows that these clusters are directly linked with the locations of the ongoing coal-based power plants.
In another set of images, a trail of nitrogen dioxide emissions can be seen as a faint line over the Indian Ocean. This indicates that the commercial ship traffic is the same as that of last year.
Nitrogen dioxide is one of the major air pollutants emitted into the atmosphere from power plants, industries and vehicular traffic. Therefore, a reduction in its concentrations can be directly attributed to decreased human activity amid lockdown.