The Blue Green Blog

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From cleaner air to liberated wildlife, coronavirus lockdowns around the world seem to have had a positive effect on the environment. While we have been staying indoors to avoid spreading Covid-19, the natural world is showing signs of benefitting from human absence.

One of the greatest benefits to the environment has been cleaner air. Pollution levels around the world have fallen as people have spent less time in vehicles, offices and factories and more time at home. Reductions in particulate matter and nitrogen dioxide in the air have been registered throughout the UK. Elsewhere in Europe, cities like Paris, Madrid and Milan have all seen a reduction in average levels of nitrogen dioxide from March 14-25, compared with the same period last year. In China, carbon emissions fell by 25% over a four-week period at the beginning of this year.

Another benefit to the environment resulting from the lockdowns is clearer water. In Venice, the water quality appears to have improved, as the canals are benefiting from the lack of usual boat traffic due to the tourists who visit each year. This has led to increased clarity in the water, and locals have reported seeing small fish, crabs and multicoloured plant-life in the water - sights otherwise unseen.

Wildlife has also emerged in other parts of the world due to the absence of humans from suburban streets and city centres. For example, goats have been spotted roaming around a Welsh seaside town, deer were seen roaming the streets in a Japanese city, and in Barcelona, boars have been spotted in the streets.