In February and March, physical distancing initiatives to slow the spread of COVID-19 resulted in reduced travel, which correlated with declines in air pollutant levels around the world. In April, however, we began to see an increase in air pollutants in parts of California, as measured by both regulatory monitors and Aclima’s mobile sensing network.
Californians have now been sheltering in place since March 20. While social distancing is slowing the spread of COVID-19, it’s also significantly reducing air pollutant and greenhouse gas levels across the state. Residents from San Diego to Sacramento are seeing clearer skies and breathing cleaner air, even in the center of cities that rarely experience a noticeable reduction in air pollution.