Covid19: Air pollution falls sharply across the world

With global economic activity ramping down as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, it is hardly surprising that emissions of a variety of gases related to energy and transport would be reduced.

Scientists say that by May, when CO2 emissions are at their peak thanks to the decomposition of leaves, the levels recorded might be the lowest since the financial crisis over a decade ago.

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Researchers in New York told the BBC their early results showed carbon monoxide mainly from cars had been reduced by nearly 50% compared with last year.

Emissions of the planet-heating gas CO2 have also fallen sharply.

But there are warnings levels could rise rapidly after the pandemic.

An analysis carried out for the climate website Carbon Brief suggested there had been a 25% drop in energy use and emissions in China over a two week period. This is likely to lead to an overall fall of about 1% in China’s carbon emissions this year, experts believe.

Both China and Northern Italy have also recorded significant falls in nitrogen dioxide, which is related to reduced car journeys and industrial activity. The gas is a serious air pollutant and also indirectly contributes to the warming of the planet.

With aviation grinding to a halt and millions of people working from home, a range of emissions across many countries are likely following the same downward path.

While people working from home will likely increase the use of home heating and electricity, the curbing of commuting and the general slowdown in economies will likely have an impact on overall emissions.

Source: BBC News

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New Year Eve warning by UK police

Police are warning people not to attend New Year celebrations on the River Thames in London without a ticket, as the UK prepares to usher in 2020.

More than 100,000 tickets have been bought for Tuesday night’s sold-out fireworks display.

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The Metropolitan Police urged those without tickets to watch from home or attend other events in the city.

Firework shows are also to be held in cities including Manchester, Cardiff, Newcastle, Inverness and Nottingham.

And in Edinburgh, the streets of Edinburgh are filling up as an estimated 100,000 Hogmanay revellers prepare to welcome in the start of a new decade.

Celebrations began on Monday evening with thousands taking part in a pre-Hogmanay torchlight procession.

In a statement to those visiting London for the celebrations, the Met said it wanted “everyone who comes to London for New Year’s Eve to have a good time”.

However, referencing the fireworks on the Thames, the force added: “If visitors do not have a ticket, entry will not be permitted to the event, so the advice from the Met is to watch the fireworks from the comfort of your home.”

Source: BBC News

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