Nitrogen oxide Current Affairs - 2020

Corona Virus: NASA reports Pollution Levels in China have dropped greatly

On March 2, 2020, NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) reported that Nitrous Oxide pollution in China has declined greatly between January and February 2020.  According to the report, nitrous oxide pollution has declined by more than 100 tonnes of carbon-dioxide.

Highlights

The report says that every year, after New Year Celebrations, air pollution in china peaks to its highest. However, this year, due to economic slowdown caused by the fear of virus, the pollution was at its minimal. This was mainly because of closure of several businesses and factories all over China.

Current Scenario

The World Health Organization has said that COVID-19 can be contained. This is because out of 80 countries that have been infected with the virus, 38 of them have less than 10 cases.

Controversy

Though WHO is optimistic, the Health Agencies believe that the countries have to assess their preparedness in fighting the disease. They say that 30% of those hospitalized with COVID-19 infections require critical care. In such scenario, apart from financial support, the countries should also possess skilled hands that are capable of operating the critical care equipment.

South Asian Nitrogen Hub

The British government has announced a research project, South Asian Nitrogen Hub to study nitrogen pollution in India and South Asia. The project led by UK’s Centre for Ecology and Hydrology will partner with 50 organisations from the UK and South Asia. The Indian Institutions partnering the study are:

  • National Institute of Oceanography
  • Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University
  • Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology
  • Jawaharlal Nehru University
  • Aligarh Muslim University
  • National Physical Laboratory
  • TERI University

The project aims to study the impact of different forms of nitrogen pollution, particularly looking at nitrogen in agriculture in eight countries of South Asia which includes India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Bhutan and Maldives.

Nitrogen Pollution

Pollutant Gases like ammonia (NH3) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) are produced from chemical fertilizers, livestock manure, and burning fossil fuels and is connected to air pollution, biodiversity loss, the pollution of rivers and seas, ozone depletion, health, economy and livelihoods.

Gases like Ammonia and nitrogen dioxide can aggravate respiratory and heart conditions. Nitrous oxide is a greenhouse gas that depletes the ozone layer. Nitrate from chemical fertilisers, manure and industry pollutes rivers and seas, poses a health risk for humans, fish, coral and plant life.