‘Air pollution in EU not up yet after relaxing corona measures’
Air pollution has not increased yet since the relaxing of the corona measures. That is what the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS)noticed and announced on Thursday.
Different in China
Copernicus visualizes actual data about the air quality and monitored the effects of the Covid-19 measures via a special micro-site. Until now, the organization has not received any signal yet that pollution has returned to the old level. The situation, however, is different in China, where activities and emissions have again reached the same levels as before the Covid-19 outbreak.
In the period between January and April, when the lockdown measures were introduced, Copernicus noticed a strong decrease in harmful substances in the air in many European regions.
“Now that those measures are becoming less rigid, we expect to see some growth,” Mark Parrington, Senior Scientist at CAMS, says. “Still, this growth is not visible in our data yet. We see a lot of variation in the surface concentration of polluting substances due to factors like the weather. It still is a challenge to observe the changing density of pollution.”
In Europe, the measures are cautiously but gradually relaxing, so traffic intensity is still lower than before the corona crisis. “This is important because some of the health advantages we experienced during the lockdown, like the improved air quality, could be permanent,” says Vincent-Henry Peuch, Director at CAMS. “Some of the targets with regard to the reduction of air pollution were considered ‘too ambitious’ or even counterproductive, but now they seem real and can be based on solid evidence. So, with joined forces, like presented in the Green Deal initiative, real change could be realized.”
On Thursday, Copernicus also introduced some updates for the Covid-19 app. Apart from the historical data like temperature, atmospheric humidity, and ultraviolet radiation, the app now also provides climatological information about particles (PM10) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2).