With social distancing in effect around much of the world, air quality in many places is better than it has been in decades. Readings from satellites that have been looking at the aerosol optical depth (the ‘haziness’ of the layer around the Earth from above) for the last 20 years are showing record lows. This is a huge natural experiment and it shows us how clean the air could be if we find ways to reduce emissions even when we return to pre-Covid activities.


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