The first lockdown implemented in India last year due to the Kovid-19 pandemic improved air quality and led to a drop in land surface temperatures in many urban areas. This has been said in a study. The study, published in the journal ‘Environmental Research’, presents solid evidence about the potential benefits to the environment from large-scale policy implementation.
The study found that restrictions on travel and work implemented in the early days of the pandemic led to a significant improvement in the environment. This happened because industrial activities had
In this study, the researchers focused on six major urban areas of Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore and Hyderabad and compared data from March to May last year between the pandemic. The study noted a significant reduction in nitrogen dioxide (NOTu), a greenhouse gas emitted by the combustion of fossil fuels. This equates to a reduction of 12 per cent on an average across India and 31.5 per cent across six cities.
In the national capital, it decreased by 40 per cent, the researchers said. He said that every year in India alone, about 16,000 people die prematurely due to poor air quality. The study also found that land surface temperatures in India’s major cities declined significantly over the past five-year average (2015-2019), with daytime temperatures as low as 1°C while nighttime temperatures of 2°C.
Study co-author Jadoo Das, a professor at the University of Southampton, UK, said: ‘We clearly saw that the reduction in atmospheric pollutants resulted in a reduction in day and night temperatures at the local level. This is an important finding in planning for sustainable urban development. The study found that along with surface temperatures over major parts of India, the atmospheric flux over the surface and the top of the atmosphere has also declined significantly.