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Los Angeles Has Cleanest Air In Decades Thanks To Quarantine

by : Lucy Connolly on : 07 Apr 2020 18:25
Los Angeles Has Cleanest Air In Decades Thanks To QuarantineLos Angeles Has Cleanest Air In Decades Thanks To QuarantinePA Images

Los Angeles is currently experiencing its longest stretch of ‘good’ air in at least four decades as a result of the city’s quarantine.

The March 2020 air quality index, compiled by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), confirmed Los Angeles had the cleanest air supply recorded last month since at least 1995.

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However, while this chart only goes back to the mid-nineties, the EPA’s data actually goes back to 1980, and there hasn’t been a longer span of good quality air days since then either.

los angeleslos angelesPA Images

Not only that, but one expert has suggested the city’s air hasn’t been this clean since around the time the United States entered World War Two in 1941.

Cody Hill, an energy company executive based in the Bay Area, posted a graphic of the EPA data to his Twitter account, describing it as ‘astounding’. In another tweet he said that despite being born in California, he had ‘never seen air so clear for so long’.

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He continued:

This is mostly from reduced driving with the same vehicle fleet. It could be the new normal and ~13 million people living there would be healthier if we electrify transportation.

[It is] probably safe to assume it is one of the best months at least since the 1940’s, when there was huge in migration as we ramped up aircraft production in the LA basin to fight WW2.

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This improvement in air quality comes after several countries around the world imposed strict confinement measures to help healthcare systems tackle the current crisis, with travel and industrial activity largely being brought to a halt.

In Los Angeles, usually gridlocked freeways stood practically empty, with the smog and pollution residents were used to seeing each day dramatically decreasing. The now clean air is a stark contrast to usual, when officials would deem it ‘unhealthy’ for many.

It doesn’t look like LA is the only place benefiting from cleaner air either, with countries worldwide reporting dramatic improvements in air quality and satellite observations indicating steep falls in nitrogen dioxide emissions in countries such as China and Italy.

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carbon dioxide emissionscarbon dioxide emissionsPA Images

While it looks set to bring a positive change to the environment, this better air quality has come at the cost of a global crisis and public health emergency that has so far cost the lives of more than 76,000 people around the world, according to the Johns Hopkins Resource Center.

In addition, if world governments don’t start making major structural change, experts warn this improved air quality could be short-lived and have little impact on the concentrations of carbon dioxide that have accumulated in the atmosphere over decades.

It’s okay to not panic about everything going on in the world right now. LADbible and UNILAD’s aim with our campaign, Cutting Through, is to provide our community with facts and stories from the people who are either qualified to comment or have experienced first-hand the situation we’re facing. For more information from the World Health Organization, click here.

Lucy Connolly

A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).

Topics: News, America, Climate Change, Environment, Isolation, Los Angeles, Quarantine, Self-Isolation, US

Credits

Cody Hill/Twitter and 1 other
  1. Cody Hill/Twitter

    @cody_a_hill

  2. Johns Hopkins Resource Center

    Coronavirus COVID-19 Global Cases by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE)