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Coronavirus’s unexpected silver lining is revealed in Italy

Coronavirus shutdowns in Italy are responsible for a significant drop in air pollution. 

Satellite observations have displayed that the temporary lack of human activity are responsible for a significant decreases in harmful emissions, according to NBC News. Concentrations of nitrogen dioxide in the atmosphere over Italy have fallen abruptly, the most obvious drop was over northern Italy.

The extreme social-distancing will likely have a similar effect on air pollution in cities across the U.S. In San Francisco, which was among the first cities to shelter-in-place, the average concentration of fine particulate matter has already dropped almost 40 percent lower than in 2019.

The changes will be short-lived, however, as commerce ramps back up after the pandemic passes. Experts believe that sweeping climate change efforts will need to go into effect to combat what may be the next global crisis.