"The sky seemed a little bluer, the air a little fresher, the animals in our yards more abundant."

Different World

This year’s COVID-19 pandemic has turned the world upside down. With a record number of people staying within the confines of their own homes, the environment has seen dramatic shifts throughout 2020 — impacts so profound that you can see them from space, according to NASA.

“Economic and social shutdowns in response to the COVID-19 pandemic have led to noticeable changes in Earth’s environment, at least for the short term,” the space agency wrote. “NASA researchers are using satellite and ground-based observations to track these impacts on our air, land, water and climate.”

Perceived Changes

NASA has collected all of this data into a COVID-19 Dashboard.

“As the world moved indoors to shelter from the global pandemic sparked by the novel coronavirus, we could perceive changes on our planet,” an official description reads. “The sky seemed a little bluer, the air a little fresher, the animals in our yards more abundant.”

These built up areas are also absorbing far less heat from the Sun due to the heat island effect. According to NASA’s data, in San Francisco alone rooftops were on average ten to 15 degrees Fahrenheit cooler from March to May 2020 when compared to April 2018.

Big Drop

The effect is mainly due to lockdown measures, leading to a major drop in transportation and more facts that lead to heat dissipating more quickly.

The effects could be felt not just in North America but across the globe. According to the Global Carbon Project, global greenhouse gas emissions dropped by a record 2.4 billion tons in 2020 — a seven percent drop from last year.

READ MORE: Seeing the COVID-19 Pandemic from Space [NASA]

More on the pandemic: NASA Figured Out How Much Less We Polluted Under Lockdown

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