The COVID-19 lockdowns might have come as a curse for the human race but it has proven a great deal for the planet. After already experiencing cleaner air, increased visibility, and fauna taking over the roads for a change, Earth is now enjoying peace with noise pollution levels reduced to almost half. By Tanvi Jain

 

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As per a study published in sciencemag.orgscientists have recently discovered evidence with the help of seismic stations across the globejustifying an unusual silence on the planet, during the pandemic.  

As per a report published in Science Dailythe new research led by the Royal Observatory of Belgium and five other institutions including Imperial College London showed that the dampening of ‘seismic noise’ caused by humans was more pronounced in more densely populated areas. The relative quietness allowed researchers to listen in to previously concealed earthquake signals, and could help differentiate between human and natural seismic noise more clearly than ever before. 

 

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“This quiet period is likely the longest and largest dampening of human-caused seismic noise since we started monitoring the Earth in detail using vast monitoring networks of seismometers. Our study uniquely highlights just how much human activities impact the solid Earth, and could let us see more clearly than ever what differentiates human and natural noise,” co-author of the study, Dr Stephen Hicks, from Department of Earth Science and Engineering at Imperial College London, told Science Daily. 

Many have lost loved ones, or are otherwise affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, despite lockdown measures. A byproduct of these unprecedented measures has been a global reduction in seismic noise,” he further tweeted. 

 

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Human activity causes vibrations that propagate into the ground as high-frequency seismic waves. Measures to mitigate the COVID-19 pandemic caused widespread changes in human activity, leading to a months-long reduction in seismic noise of up to 50%. The 2020 seismic noise quiet period is the longest and most prominent global anthropogenic seismic noise reduction on record,” the study published in sciencemag.org, mentioned. 

Moreover, as per a recent report published in downtoearth.orgThe Central Pollution Control Board has proposed new fine starting at INR 1,000 and going up to INR 1 lakh, for flouting norms restricting noise pollution under the Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules, 2000. 

Related: #SomeGoodNews: Earth’s Seismic Vibrations Drops After Improvement In Air Quality