The covid lockdown’s effect on solar power is a silver lining

The covid lockdown’s effect on solar power is a silver lining

The lockdown in India gave a unique chance to measure how drastic drops in air pollution can increase solar panel output Source: https://www.anthropocenemagazine.org/2020/07/the-covid-lockdowns-effect-on-solar-installations-are-a-silver-lining/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=the-covid-lockdowns-effect-on-solar-installations-are-a-silver-lining  By Prachi Patel July 30, 2020 Image by Pixabay from Pixabay Just days after India went into severe lockdown in an effort to slow down COVID-19, people in the country’s heavily polluted cities started seeing clear, blue skies. That drop in air pollution also boosted the output of photovoltaic solar panels, researchers have found. In a paper published in the journal Joule, they report that Delhi’s shutdown increased the power produced by solar installations by over 8 percent. That number seems small, but it is roughly the difference between the how a solar panel would perform in Houston versus in Toronto, according to the researchers. The results are not surprising of course, but the pandemic offered a unique opportunity to measure the impact of reduced pollution on solar output. Delhi is one of the most polluted cities on the planet, and India’s drastic lockdown...
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The most harmful air pollutants hardly declined during lockdown

The most harmful air pollutants hardly declined during lockdown

Source: http://airqualitynews.com/2020/07/28/the-most-harmful-pollutants-hardly-declined-during-lockdown/  28.07.2020 The two most harmful air pollutants, particulate matter (PM2.5) and ozone, hardly declined during the lockdown period in China. Researchers from the University of Leeds and the University of Science and Technology in Shenzhen, analysed 1,600 air quality monitoring stations in China from January 2015 to April 2020 in order to isolate and understand the changes in air pollution during the lockdown period. The researchers found that while concentrations of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) did show improvements, the two most harmful pollutants to human health hardly declined. Fine particles measuring less than 2.5µm – had a modest reduction of 11% in some areas and did not decline at all in north-east China. The researchers also found that there was almost no change in ozone concentrations across the country.  Photo Credit – Pixabay Lead author of the study Ben Silver, from the University of Leeds, said: ‘The largest reductions of NO2 were in the Hubei province, where NO2 concentrations were over 50% lower during the lockdown. ‘Much smaller...
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COVID-19 has accelerated transition to environmentally friendly transport

COVID-19 has accelerated transition to environmentally friendly transport

Source: http://airqualitynews.com/2020/07/27/covid-19-has-encouraged-environmentally-friendly-travel/  27.07.2020 The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the transition to more environmentally friendly transport, according to new research conducted by Admiral car insurance.  In order to enable social distancing, many cities are prioritising pedestrians and cyclists by adding cycle paths, widening pavements and closing roads. According to Admiral car insurance, 37% of cities have announced plans to widen footpaths and pathways to allocate more space for pedestrians.  31% of cities have also announced plans for pop-up and temporary cycle lanes.  These cycle lanes will also be shared with e-scooters following the government’s recent announcement to allow rented e-scooters to use the same road space as cyclists.  21% of plans also included suggestions to close streets off from motorists at certain times of day to help encourage individuals to walk while also complying with social distancing measures.  Steve Brooks, executive director of external affairs at cycling charity Sustrans commented on this research: ‘How people access their everyday needs and move around cities, towns and neighbourhoods will play...
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Social distancing is making public transport worse for the environment

Social distancing is making public transport worse for the environment

Source: https://airqualitynews.com/2020/07/24/social-distancing-is-making-public-transport-worse-for-the-environment-than-car/ 24.07.2020 Social distancing is making public transport worse for the environment than cars but researchers at the University of Cardiff have created a new app to help fix the problem.  During the lockdown, travel restrictions caused car and public transport use to plummet across the UK. On April 12 2020, the number of daily trips by car fell to 22%, compared to a typical day the year before. Public transport use dropped too. National Rail ticket sales were at 4% of their pre-pandemic norm and bus ticket sales outside of London fell to 10%. With one-third of the world under lockdown at one point, travel restrictions in different countries contributed to a global reduction in carbon dioxide (C0₂) emissions of 17% in April, compared to 2019. But as these measures have been relaxed, personal vehicle use has increased again, approaching 80% of typical levels by mid-July. Unfortunately, public transport use remains low, with train ticket sales and buses outside of London still running at...
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Eating fish may protect the brain from air pollution

Eating fish may protect the brain from air pollution

Source: https://airqualitynews.com/2020/07/23/omega-3-may-protect-the-brain-from-air-pollution/ 23.07.2020 A diet rich in fish that contains omega-3 may protect the brain from the impacts of air pollution, according to a new study published in the National Institute of Health.  Researchers have found that tiny air pollutants can cause changes in the brains structure that resembles the impact of Alzheimer’s disease or Dementia.  To assess the factors that may alter the impact that air pollution has on the brain, researchers from the American Academy of Neurology conducted an experiment on 1,315 women with an average age of 70.  The women completed questionnaires about their diet, physical activity and medical history and then participants were given blood tests.  The researchers then looked at each women’s home address to determine their three-year average exposure to air pollution.  After adjusting for age, education, smoking and other factors that could affect brain shrinkage, the researchers found that women who had the highest levels of omega-3 in the blood had greater levels of white matter.  White matter is found in...
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India: Why Was Daytime Ozone Pollution Higher During the Lockdowns?

India: Why Was Daytime Ozone Pollution Higher During the Lockdowns?

Source: https://science.thewire.in/the-sciences/india-why-was-daytime-ozone-pollution-higher-during-the-lockdowns/  23/07/2020  At the end of the first lockdown period, from March 24 to April 14, the level of criteria pollutants in Delhi had declined to different extents – but the daytime average for the amount of ozone in the air had begun to increase. As The Wire Science reported, this was the result of atmospheric chemistry. NOx, the generic term for the nitrogen oxides important in atmospheric chemistry, comprises nitric oxide (NO) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2). NO eats ozone and NO2 makes ozone. Vehicular emissions are responsible for more than 50% of Delhi’s NOx emissions. With only a limited amount of NO present, ozone accumulates in the atmosphere. The data showed the same thing happening during the subsequent lockdown phases as well, in Delhi as well as around the country. Other datasets showed similar trends around the planet. Ozone in the stratosphere, above 10 km, is good: it blocks ultraviolet radiation from the Sun from reaching the ground. However, ozone in the troposphere,...
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After 40 years, researchers finally see Earth’s climate destiny more clearly

After 40 years, researchers finally see Earth’s climate destiny more clearly

Source: https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/07/after-40-years-researchers-finally-see-earths-climate-destiny-more-clearly  By Paul Voosen Jul. 22, 2020  Clouds aren’t expected to dampen global warming—one reason why the planet is likely to respond sharply to carbon emissions. ISS Expedition 7 Crew/EOL/NASA  It seems like such a simple question: How hot is Earth going to get? Yet for 40 years, climate scientists have repeated the same unsatisfying answer: If humans double atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) from preindustrial levels, the planet will eventually warm between 1.5°C and 4.5°C—a temperature range that encompasses everything from a merely troubling rise to a catastrophic one. Now, in a landmark effort, a team of 25 scientists has significantly narrowed the bounds on this critical factor, known as climate sensitivity. The assessment, conducted under the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) and publishing this week in Reviews of Geophysics, relies on three strands of evidence: trends indicated by contemporary warming, the latest understanding of the feedback effects that can slow or accelerate climate change, and lessons from ancient climates. They support a likely...
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Saint-Joesph University of Beirut joins EMME-CARE Regional Professorship Programme

Saint-Joesph University of Beirut joins EMME-CARE Regional Professorship Programme

Source: https://emme-care.cyi.ac.cy/saint-joesph-university-of-beirut-joins-emme-care-regional-professorship-programme/  2020-07-14 In the framework of Eastern Mediterranean and Middle East – Climate and Atmosphere Research’s (EMME-CARE) Regional Professorship Programme, aiming to strengthen, expand and enhance collaboration networks in the EMME region to tackle air pollution and climate change and their impacts, the Cyprus Institute has entered into a formal collaboration agreement with the Saint-Joseph University of Beirut (USJ) in Lebanon. Collaboration between the two institutions will cut across a number of areas: the exchange of students, researchers and faculty, through ERASMUS and other programmes, internships and sabbatical programmes, but also joint research efforts involving the exchange of ideas, methodologies and data, as well as the pursuit of joint publications as a result of joint research or funding opportunities for joint projects. Additionally, the two institutions will provide access to each other’s research infrastructures, which a focus on the analysis of the chemical speciation of aerosols, as well as examine the potential of dual postgraduate programmes or joint supervision. As part of the...
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New CARE-C project to develop a Bioaerosol Network aimed at detecting the presence of SARS-CoV-2

New CARE-C project to develop a Bioaerosol Network aimed at detecting the presence of SARS-CoV-2

Source: https://emme-care.cyi.ac.cy/new-care-c-project-to-develop-a-bioaerosol-network-aimed-at-detecting-the-presence-of-sars-cov-2/ July 2020 Researchers of the Climate and Atmosphere Research Center of the Cyprus Institute and the Cyprus Institute of Neurology & Genetics, in collaboration with the Nicosia General Hospital, and with the support of the Republic of Cyprus’ Ministry of Health and Ministry of Interiors, are developing and evaluating the benefits of implementing an easy-to-operate Bioaerosol Network aimed at detecting the presence of SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for COVID-19, within indoor atmospheric environments. The objective of the project is to demonstrate the value of a “Bioaerosol Network” for monitoring the presence of airborne SARS-CoV-2 within large indoor public areas (such as shops, offices, residential buildings and others). This is to alert on the potential risk of local contamination, and allow for immediate mitigation actions (such as shutdowns and disinfections). If operated continuously, such bioaerosol networks could act as early warning systems to geolocate the presence of new infectious clusters, information which is strategic for combating the large-scale spreading of the virus. According to...
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