Faheem ul islam
Pollution can take many forms- the air we breathe, the water we drink, the soil we use to grow our food, the lit-up skies and even the increasing noise we hear every day can all contribute to health problems and a lower quality of life with major disruptions and effects on wildlife and ecosystems.
One of the greatest problems that the world is facing today is that of environmental pollution. If we observe minutely environmental pollution has become the most serious hazardous slogan in every sphere of the world. Our environment is constantly changing. There is no denying that.
However, as our environment changes, so does the need to become increasingly aware of the problems that surround it. With a massive influx of natural disasters, warming and cooling periods, different types of weather patterns and much more, people need to be aware of what types of environmental problems our planet is facing.
Global warming has become an undisputed fact about our current livelihoods; our planet is warming up and we are definitely part of the problem. However, this isn’t the only environmental problem that we should be concerned about. All across the world, people are facing a wealth of new and challenging environmental issues every day.
Some of them are small and only affect a few ecosystems, but others are drastically changing the landscape of what we already know. This had become the most serious and concerned slogan from last few decades.
In India there was a problem of visibility due to air pollution. Many times the pollution levels were so high that even schools were closed for couple of days. Likewise other countries also faced the same situation.
Air pollution has assumed mammoth proportions and controlling it has become a challenge for the developed as well as the developing world.
However, over the past few months when the world is struggling hard to defeat a virus that has led to a chaotic situation all around; one ray of hope has also emerged on the environmental front.
The epicenter of coronavirus outbreak pandemic is Wuhan which is known as the major industrial hub. When things were normal in Wuhan there were hazardous and dangerous effect of industrialization on the environment in the region.
But now when the movement was restricted and the City was been kept under lockdown there was 21.5% slow down of air pollution according to China’s ministry of ecology and environment.
If you think that this improvement is just because of lockdown and restriction on human movement, it is not entirely true. The reduced production of oil and steel in local factories and the less frequent domestic flights over the Wuhan city had contributed immensely to help improve the air quality in the region. The image shared by NASA and European space agency established that nitrogen dioxide levels have significantly come down in the region.
The situation is reflected in other regions spread across the globe. In New York where the air pollution was on its peak and residents in these areas always complained of health issues related to pollution, a sea change is being observed on the environment front during the lockdown period.
Fortunately, there was reduction in carbon dioxide levels due to the lockdown as almost 50% of air pollution was caused due to automobile emissions. Also the Columbia University research says that traffic levels comes around almost 35% as compared to data a year ago.
In India also due to lockdown observed by country from March 22nd due to coronavirus there was significant come down in air pollution.
Delhi, Bengaluru, Kolkata witnessed a positive impact on clean air. According to data given by central pollution control board, air pollutants in Delhi was 126 micrograms per cubic at 1:00 a.m. on 22nd March last year which nearly got halved at 1:00 p.m. just because of lockdown and restrictions on traffic, industries and human movement. The ozone layer is now healing day by day and the water bodies are getting more clean and clear due to coronavirus lockdown. However, all this came to an end with the easing of restrictions.
As we see the above data of some countries is the positive side of this pandemic virus. These improvements in nature, albeit due to human restrictions are inevitably something to take note of.
While the situation is proving to be good for the environment, researchers and scientist are also worried that these things could rapidly spike up once the situation will restore to full normal. That is something we would certainly not want. Only time will tell what lies in the future for us.
(The writer is a student)