By: Halona Augustine
The pandemic caused by COVID-19 has changed life as we know it. Stores are closed, many have lost their jobs and social distancing has become the new norm. In the midst of this chaos, COVID-19 has also affected the environment. Our changing lifestyles have had a profound impact on carbon emissions and water pollution. In a study conducted by Zhu Liu from the Department of Earth System Science at Tsinghua University in Beijing, it was shown that carbon emissions have decreased by 40% worldwide due to the absence of transportation alone. This is a significant decrease as countries take years to establish effective plans for lowering carbon emissions in the environment. Water pollution has also significantly decreased during quarantine as people were mostly in their houses. The most evident change is seen through the canals in Italy, as there is virtually no more pollution. These canals were polluted for years and are now crystal clear. Amidst the negative impact that COVID-19 has on the world, there is a silver lining through the few aspects of the environment that have improved during this time.
Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK). "Biggest carbon dioxide drop: Real-time data show COVID-19's massive impact on global emissions." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 October 2020. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/10/201014082806.htm>.