Amidst the Corona crisis, scientists around the world continue with their efforts to develop the vaccine against the deadly virus. On the other hand, governments push out for new market reforms to manage the dwindling economy because of the pandemic. The whole world has come to a standstill!

At the same time, there have been a lot of positive environmental developments, across the globe due to the lockdown. One such has been the impact on glaciers in the upper Himalayas. Dehradun based Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology has already started with a study to analyze the impact of the lockdown on the Himalayan environment and geology. The study is based on the fact that lockdown has caused the largest single-year drop in carbon emissions ever recorded. Scientists are of the opinion that these developments are sure to impact the atmosphere.

As per a recent BBC report, India’s CO2 emissions have fallen for the first time since 1982. The study finds that Indian carbon dioxide emissions fell 15% in March, and are likely to have fallen by 30% in April. The report takes into account the drop-off in power demand. Coal-fired power generation was down 15% in March and 31% in the first three weeks of April, according to daily data from the Indian national grid. Indian oil consumption has also shown a similar reduction in demand growth.

The scientists from the Wadia Institute involved in the study believe that the lockdown measures in India and other countries will have a profound impact on the environment and will especially impact the geology of the Himalayans region.

Dr. Kalachand Sai, Director, Wadia Institute said that owing to India’s lockdown there has been a sharp decrease in traffic movement and almost all factories and manufacturing units have been closed, resulting in the reduction of the levels of PM 2.5 and PM 10 in the atmosphere. This decrease has further reduced the concentration of sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxide in the atmosphere. Decreases in the carbon footprint, he added, will reduce the rate of glacial melting, which has been a cause of global concern for some time now.

(By: Gautam Kumar)

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