If there is one thing that Malaysians may have noticed across the country while staying home, is the fact that slowly but surely, parts of our country are returning to nature. Finally, after many many decades of constant human activity and pollution, Covid-19 has forced all humans to stay home, giving time, however brief, for the planet to heal.
But one of the one things we probably take for granted is the air quality in Malaysia, considering how for people who live in the Klang Valley, it tends to be dusty and tainted with smoke anyway, right?
Well, according to the Malay Mail, the Movement Control Order has borne significant fruit in helping Malaysia’s air quality improve, too!
As reported by the English paper, latest information from Think City’s analytics department shows that nitrogen dioxide levels across Malaysia have dropped to some considerable amount, after most Malaysians are forced to stay home and avoid any activity outdoors. Using satellite spectrometry data, maps show that these drops in nitrogen dioxide levels is most noticeable in Kuala Lumpur and Johor Bahru.
For those of you who don’t know, nitrogen dioxide is a pollutant released in the burning of fossil fuels such as coal, oil, and gas. In fact, 80% of our nitrogen dioxide gasses are contributed from moving vehicles.
Breathing it in constantly can result in a multiple number of respiratory problems including the inflammation of airways, coughing, and even increased asthma attacks.
Think City programme director Matt Benson mentioned that these positive environment impacts are an unintended consequence of us Malaysians being less mobile and being forced indoors.
“As we are forced into hibernation, our cities are changing in ways we hadn’t thought possible.
“Think City’s mapping of changes in nitrogen dioxide between now and this time last year shows that as Malaysians move about less due to the MCO, there are reduced vehicle emissions.
“This is particularly evident along the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia, which is where 20 million people reside,” he said.
So if you need any further validation that staying home during this period of time is doing both us and the environment plenty of good, then this should be plenty of proof! Remember, fellow Malaysians: stay home, stay safe!
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