Is this a short-term phenomenon or the beginning of an environmental restoration? For now, the environment has recovered itself as a result of COVID-19. ...................... Ed
Released in 2019, Avengers: Endgame features a whale returning to the Hudson River as the world's population has been reduced by half by Thanos. It shows that nature is regenerating when humans are not causing harm to the natural environments. Of course, climate change doesn't happen immediately just because human activities on Earth are significantly reduced. However, as COVID-19 has reduced human activity around the world, wild animals are returning to their habitats and The atmosphere has improved.
A group of wild goats appeared on the British holiday place of Llandudno, according to foreign media reports on March 31. Goats are said to have walked through the streets of the village, grazing the garden in the residential area, and sleeping in the cemetery inside the cathedral. Meanwhile, a puma roams the streets of Santiago, Chile. It was captured by the Chilean authorities and taken to the zoo. In Oakland, California, a group of wild turkeys were strutting through the streets.
Experts and environmental officials believe that wild animals that had been taken away by humans are returning to their territory. In fact, there are cases where the animals that have left their habitats due to environmental pollution and human interference have returned. According to a local media report in India on March 26, 800,000 Olive Ridley Sea Turtles returned to nest on the beaches of Rushikulya. The beach was originally a place where these turtles come to lay eggs, but in 2002, 2007, and 2016, the sea turtles did not return to lay their eggs as the beaches were polluted with trash generated by countless tourists. However, due to the COVID-19, the sea turtles returned to Rushikulya Beach as the access to this location was restricted. Sea turtle researchers and environmental groups around the world reportedly witnessed the return of sea turtles to Rushikulya Beach as a sign of a reviving environment.
Meanwhile, Mexico's Acapulco beach has been re-flushed in 60 years. Acapulco was one of Mexico's best holiday places, and it was always crowded. However, with the ban on bathing as a preventive measure for COVID-19, the self-illuminated planktons are back. Fish returned to Italy's Venice Canal, followed by jellyfish. Biologist Andrea Mangoni said, "As the water becomes transparent and the number of tourists decreases with COVID-19, we can observe marine life flowing into the tide."
The air environment has also improved. According to the satellite data analysis of NASA(National Aeronautics and Space Administration), the amount of nitrogen dioxide generated in China dropped sharply during the month of February this year. Experts attributed the phenomenon to a significant decline in industrial activity in China due to the COVID-19 spread. In fact, China's industrial activities have declined by up to 40% since the COVID-19 incident began in December 2019. This also reduced carbon emissions in China by more than 25%.
Some believe that COVID-19 will have a negative impact on the environment. In the past, there was a decrease in greenhouse gases during the economic downturn, as in the case during World War II, and the 2008 financial crisis, which did not last long. It also pointed out that the increase in waste, such as medical waste, is also a problem.
So far, it is unclear how COVID-19 will change the environment in the long run. However, we can change our lives in ways that are less destructive to the environment. Humans should reflect on their attitude toward the environment even after the COVID-19 subsides so that there will be positive changes in the environment.
Lee Ga-eun (ST Reporter)