Satellite images show pollution levels drop amid coronavirus isolation

Satellite shows less pollution amid coronavirus outbreak

Pollution levels across the globe are dramatically decreasing as populations across the world isolate themselves amid the spread of the coronavirus.

Industries have halted, and hundreds of millions of people are quarantined in countries including China, Italy and the United States.

As fewer drivers make daily commutes, fewer boats take to the waterways and fewer planes take flight, data from a European Space Agency satellite shows a decrease in nitrogen dioxide levels across American cities, including New York, Chicago and Los Angeles.

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Nitrogen dioxide is a pollutant produced from the burning of fuel like that for heating, power generation and combustion engines, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

Other images showed a decrease in Wuhan, China, where the virus originated from December 2019 to March 2020.

Images from Jan. 1 to Jan. 11 also showed the gas decreased across Europe, including in Italy, where more than 8,200 people have died from the virus, leading the world.

Because of less boat traffic, waterways in Venice are also showing signs of less pollution.

"This is the first time I have seen such a dramatic drop-off over such a wide area for a specific event," Fei Liu, an air quality researcher at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, said in a statement earlier this month.

There are more than 520,000 confirmed cases and 23,000 deaths worldwide, according to a Johns Hopkins map.