Air quality has seen improvements for Earth Day 2020 with stay-at-home orders in place due to coronavirus
Wednesday, April 22, 2020, is the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. This year’s theme is climate action. Because of the global coronavirus pandemic, it seems that air quality is improving as more people stay off the roads. Roya Bahreini is an associate professor of atmospheric science at the University of California, Riverside. She said this improvement of air quality is happening here in the United States and across the world with lockdowns in place.
Satellite images are showing this significant improvement in air quality. Levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO₂), one of many common pollutants that make up the Air Quality Index (AQI) used by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has shown a decrease in Southern California from March 15-April 14 in 2019 compared to 2020.
Bahreini said, “There are measurements that are showing pollutants like nitrogen dioxide, some components of particulate matter, the fine aerosols, mostly