Sulphur Dioxide Concentrations Drop Over India During COVID-19


Concentrations of sulphur dioxide in polluted areas in India have decreased by around 40% between April 2019 and April 2020.

Using data from the Copernicus Sentinel-5P satellite, from the European Union Copernicus programme, scientists have produced new maps which show the drop in concentrations across the country in times of COVID-19.

In a report by Greenpeace last year, India was named the world’s largest emitter of anthropogenic sulphur dioxide – a significant contributor to air pollution. Sulphur dioxide causes many health-related problems, can harm sensitive ecosystems and is also a precursor to acid rain.

While some atmospheric sulphur dioxide is produced from natural processes, such as volcanoes, a substantial amount is produced by human activities – predominantly from power plants burning fossil fuels.

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Image via European Space Agency