Reduced air pollution means visibility is better than ever.
Mount Everest stands 200km from Kathmandu and now the behemoth is visible from the Nepal capital for the first time in decades. As a result of current lockdown restrictions bringing many parts of society to a standstill, air quality is now better than ever.
Kathmandu residents have never had the luxury of gazing upon the world’s tallest peak from their home, but with industry largely halting production, car use lower than ever and air travel practically nill, it’s now more visible than ever.
The coronavirus has also seen the Los Angeles skyline become clearer than ever, while the air pollution in London has diminished dramatically. Looks like we’ve found something that the pandemic is actually good for.
The phenomenon has provided a small snapshot into what things look like in a low-carbon society. The World Health Organisation has estimated that about three million people die each year from air pollution-related illness. It’s been reported that 80% of people living in cities are exposed to unsafe air quality levels.
So what will this mean for the future? Will this forced experiment change the way we think about climate change?
The #COVID19Lockdown has cleaned the air over #Nepal and northern #India. So much so that for the first time in many years, Mt #Everest can be seen again from #Kathmandu Valley even though it is 200km away.
— Nepali Times (@NepaliTimes) May 15, 2020
Never miss a story. Sign up to Beat’s newsletter and you’ll be served fresh music, arts, food and culture stories five times a week.