Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Can WuFlu Save the Bay?

Probably not, but it can make it a little cleaner: Scientists Link Less Traffic To Lowest Nitrogen Dioxide Levels On Record Along I-95 Corridor
Satellite imagery is confirming what scientists have thought for weeks now; our reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic is translating to cleaner air.

Scientists say the air along the I-95 corridor is as clear as it has been in decades — with Nitrogen dioxide levels down — due to the stay-at-home orders that are currently in effect.

“First of all, we know this is going to be good for Marylanders’ lungs,” Ben Grumbles, Secretary of the Maryland Department of the Environment, said.

NASA scientist Ana Prados teaches climate change policy at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. She says the decrease of Nitrogen dioxide in the air is connected to more people staying home.

“There’s a tight relationship between human activities and the quality of the air that we breathe,” Prados said.

NASA has a sliding tool on its website where you can compare a five-year average of air quality, with one from this March. It’s the lowest Nitrogen dioxide level on record.

“What it tells us is human activity has slowed down,” Prados said. “There’s been a slowdown in the economy, and people are not moving as much.”

Grumbles says the decrease in Nitrogen dioxide translates to cleaner water in the Chesapeake Bay, too.

“About a third of the Nitrogen pollution to our cherished Chesapeake Bay is from the air,” Grumbles said.
We already know it will be good for Striped Bass and oysters and bad for shad.

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