Earth Day 2020: Startling photos show pollution before and after the coronavirus lockdown
Just in time for Earth Day 2020, a new photo report reveals the visible transformation in the global atmosphere from the time before the era of coronavirus and now.
Satellite images, radar maps and photos from the ground taken prior to mid-March depict international industrial hubs, including New York City and New Delhi, as well as expanses of land in California, Europe and China — regions hit hard by air pollution.
Taken in the days and weeks after an international shutdown to curb the pandemic, the before-and-after images are stark illustrations of how human activity impacts the environment — and the good that comes when we stop.
Despite what looks like good news for the planet, scientists say the impact of the coronavirus might not be enough to avert impending ecological disaster, such as a looming American megadrought, the ever-more-rapidly melting of the polar ice caps, or the disappearing coastlines.
Still, the following photographs speak for themselves:
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