Surprising effect of lockdowns on Earth

The coronavirus pandemic has left most of the world's major cities, including London, New York and others, empty. It's also having one surprising effect on the planet as well.

The Earth has essentially stopped vibrating.

With travel effectively ground to a halt, seismologists around the globe have reported a drop in seismic noise, according to an article in the scientific journal Nature.

Researchers say the drop in activity, usually only seen to this magnitude around Christmas, could help experts find smaller earthquakes and monitor volcanic activity more effectively.

Coronavirus lockdowns have caused the Earth to effectively stop shaking. Picture: The National Geophysical Data Center
Coronavirus lockdowns have caused the Earth to effectively stop shaking. Picture: The National Geophysical Data Center

 

"You'll get a signal with less noise on top, allowing you to squeeze a little more information out of those events," Andy Frassetto, a seismologist at the Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology in Washington, D.C., told Nature

"There's a big chance indeed it could lead to better measurements," Thomas Lecocq, a seismologist at the Royal Observatory of Belgium, added.

Lecocq told CNN that Brussels was seeing a 30 to 50 per cent reduction in ambient noise since it went on lockdown in the middle of March.

The Royal Observatory made sure to note the Earth was "still shaking," just at a significantly smaller measure.

 

On March 27, the data from the observatory was even clearer, showing the changes in the Earth's movement.

 

Researchers in other parts of the globe, including in Los Angeles and West London, U.K., noticed a similar occurrence, Nature added.

The environmental benefits of countries being in lock down across the world have caused many to rejoice.

From clearer water in Venice to blue skies in Beijing, the world is seeing a positive benefit on the environment as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.

But experts are warning not to call it a silver lining, saying things will no doubt return to normal, with pollution levels even returning with a vengeance.

They also say reductions in pollution and emissions should be done without ruining economies.

Originally published as Surprising effect of lockdowns on Earth


’Community roots’ to underpin future of old hospital site

Premium Content ’Community roots’ to underpin future of old hospital site

A DRAFT lease for the vacant Shirley St site has been considered by Byron Shire...

What decision could mean for ‘intentional’ rural community

Premium Content What decision could mean for ‘intentional’ rural community

LANDOWNER’S consent is an “essential requirement for the determination of any...

Heartbreak as mum of brutally slain 2-year-old given parole

Premium Content Heartbreak as mum of brutally slain 2-year-old given parole

She “should have had the courage” to get her daughter medical help.