Universiti Malaya – Wales

Apply Now!Connect With Us

By Elilarasi Letshmanan

The world has been largely affected by the Covid-19 virus that has killed more than 3 million people to date worldwide. This article, written by Katrina Kramers deals with how the pandemic unintentionally reduced the world’s air pollution The pandemic’s strict lockdown measures provided a golden opportunity for researchers to study the relationship between human activity and air pollution. Here are some of the article’s interesting finds!


While most of our lives were adversely affected by this pandemic, there was also a 7% drop in global carbon emissions as reported by Corinne Le Quere, a professor of climate change from the UK. In other research, with the data attained from two different satellites, Fei Liu and her team at Nasa’s Goddard Space Flight Center in the US were able to observe a large reduction of nitrogen dioxide and other nitrogen oxides (NO x ) over China, especially along the major motorways as well as steel, iron, fossil fuel power plants and oil industry dominated areas. The reduced air pollution is attributed to the strict lockdown measures which largely reduced air pollution from vehicles, planes and factories.


Based on the data attained from approximately 500 air monitoring stations located in 34 countries, there was a 34% NO x and 15% particulate matter (PM) reduction during strict lockdowns from January to April 2021 globally, compared with 2015 to 2019 averages. Another interesting fact, during the lockdowns in most countries, carbon dioxide levels fell by 27% compared with the previous year. This article clearly shows how the global actions induced by the Covid-19 pandemic can help us to plan future policies and actions on reducing air pollution worldwide.