According to NASA, Florida has seen significant improvement in air quality along with reductions of nitrogen dioxide levels over the last month during the government coronavirus lockdown. NASA satellite images show the levels of nitrogen dioxide are about 30% lower over Florida when compared to the average levels between 2015 and 2019.
“These recent improvements in air quality have come at a high cost, as communities grapple with the widespread stay-at-home advisories that began about a month ago as a result of the spread of COVID-19,” the report states. “Major League Baseball spring training games were canceled on March 12 and Disney World in Orlando closed on March 16. Bars and nightclubs were shuttered on March 17 by an executive order from Governor DeSantis of Florida. Many ‘Snowbirds’, people from the northern U.S. and Canada who spend winter in Florida, began heading back north earlier than normal.”
Lockdowns have had the same effect in other states and other parts of the world, such as China.
NASA says nitrogen dioxide, which is primarily emitted from burning fossil fuels for transportation and electricity generation, can be used as an indicator of changes in human activity. “In fact, March 15 – April 15 2020 shows the lowest value for the region as compared to any other year during the OMI data record, which spans 2005 to present,” NASA wrote in the statement.
Similar trends have also been seen around the world, according to NASA. It noted that during much of this time period, much of Florida experienced record-setting heat and unusually low rainfall, so further analysis overall is still needed.