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Traffic and Pollution Plummet as U.S. Cities Shut Down for Coronavirus

The New York Times – “In cities across the United States, traffic on roads and highways has fallen dramatically over the past week as the coronavirus outbreak forces people to stay at home and everyday life grinds to a halt. Pollution has dropped too. A satellite that detects emissions in the atmosphere linked to cars and trucks shows huge declines in pollution over major metropolitan areas, including Los Angeles, Seattle, New York, Chicago and Atlanta.

In Los Angeles, as businesses and schools have closed this month and drivers have stayed off the roads, air pollution has declined and traffic jams have all but vanished. Preliminary data from the European Space Agency’s Sentinel-5P satellite show that atmospheric levels of nitrogen dioxide, which are influenced in large part by car and truck emissions, were considerably lower over Los Angeles in the first two weeks of March compared to the same period last year. The car-dependent city normally features some of the highest smog levels in the country…”

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