As People Stay Home, Earth Turns Wilder and Cleaner
Wednesday marked the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. American Gaylord Nelson launched the first Earth Day in 1970. His aim was to urge local action and increase people's understanding of our planet and its environment.
The creation of Earth Day is widely considered the beginning of the modern environmental movement.
As climate activists marked the event this year, an unplanned experiment is changing the planet.
Many people continue to stay at home to stop the spread of the new coronavirus. As a result, people are making less pollution, and the air has become cleaner.
Smog stopped covering New Delhi, one of the world's most polluted cities. Nitrogen dioxide pollution in the northeastern United States has dropped 30 percent. Air pollution levels in Rome have dropped 49 percent compared to a year ago. Stars seem more visible at night.
People also report seeing wild animals in unusual places. Coyotes have been observed walking in downtown Chicago and near San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge. A puma was seen in the streets of Santiago, Chile. Goats entered a town in Wales and showed no interest in leaving.
When people stay home, the Earth becomes cleaner and wilder.
Stuart Pimm is a scientist at Duke University in the United States. He says the stay-at-home orders worldwide are "giving us this quite extraordinary insight into just how much of a mess we humans are making of our beautiful planet."
Pimm told The Associated Press that the situation is providing a chance to "see how much better it can be."
Scientists, stuck at home like the rest of us, say they are interested in studying unexpected changes in plants, insects, weather, noise and light pollution.
Researchers have been observing sharp drops in traditional air pollutants, such as nitrogen dioxide, smog and tiny particles. These kinds of pollutants kill up to 7 million people a year worldwide, says Dan Greenbaum, president of the Health Effects Institute.
Cleaner air has been most noticeable in India and China. On April 3, people living in Jalandhar, a city in north India's Punjab, woke up to a sight not seen for many years: snow-covered Himalayan mountains more than 160 kilometers away.
Cleaner air means stronger lungs for asthmatics, especially children, said Mary Prunicki. She is a doctor and director of air pollution and health research at the Stanford University School of Medicine in California. She noted early studies have linked coronavirus severity to people with weak lungs and those living in more polluted areas.
Animals take over
In Australia, police shared a video of a kangaroo on social media. It showed the animal jumping around a mostly empty neighborhood in downtown Adelaide. Several wild jackals recently occupied a city park in Tel Aviv, Israel.
We are not being invaded, Duke's Stuart Pimm noted. The wildlife has always been there, but many animals only come out when people are not around.
Human activity usually makes it difficult for sea turtles to leave their eggs on sandy coastlines. Nesting turtles need to be undisturbed. After they come out of their eggs, baby turtles might have problems finding their way to the water because of bright lights, said David Godfrey. He is executive director of the Sea Turtle Conservancy.
But with lights mostly off and people in their homes, the sea turtle nesting seems much better this year -- from India to Costa Rica to Florida, Godfrey said.
"There's some silver lining for wildlife in what otherwise is a fairly catastrophic time for humans," he added.
I'm Ashley Thompson.
1.woke up 苏醒
When Jock woke up and found you gone he went crazy.
2.silver lining 一线希望
The fall in inflation is the silver lining of the prolonged recession.
3.come out of 产生
He was once seen to come out of the place.
4.sea turtles 海龟
You'll see large sea turtles swimming alongside schools of tropical fish.
5.Goats entered a town in Wales and showed no interest in leaving.
be interest in 对...感兴趣
His interest in this subject gradually decreases.
He has developed an interest in science.
6.In Australia, police shared a video of a kangaroo on social media.
social media 社交媒体
In my department I have people who build websites and work in social media.
We have all witnessed the power of social media.
周三是世界地球日50周年 。1970年，美国人盖洛德·尼尔森发起了世界地球日 。他的目的是督促当地采取行动，并提高人们对地球及其环境的认识 。
很多人继续居家隔离以阻断新冠病毒的传播 。因此，人类造成的污染减少了，空气变得更加洁净 。
作为全球污染最严重的城市之一，新德里也不再是雾霾笼罩 。美国东北部的二氧化氮污染下降了30% 。罗马的空气污染水平较去年下降了49% 。夜间的星星也更清晰可见 。
人们还报告称，在一些不寻常的地方有野生动物出没 。土狼在芝加哥市中心和旧金山金门大桥附近游荡 。智利圣地亚哥的街道上惊现一只美洲狮 。山羊现身威尔士的一座小镇并且无意离开 。
斯图亚特·皮姆（Stuart Pimm）是美国杜克大学的科学家 。他说，全球范围内的居家令“让我们以非凡的洞察力了解到，人类给美丽的地球制造了多少混乱 。”
研究人员一直在观测传统空气污染物的急剧下降，例如二氧化氮、烟雾和微小颗粒物 。健康影响研究所所长丹·格林鲍姆表示，这类污染物每年造成全球高达7百万人死亡 。
其中，印度和中国的空气洁净程度最显著 。4月3日，印度北部旁遮普邦贾朗达尔市的人们一觉醒来，看到了多年未见的景象——160多公里外积雪覆盖的喜马拉雅山脉 。
玛丽·普鲁妮基表示，对哮喘患者，尤其是儿童来说，更洁净的空气意味着更强的肺部功能 。她是加州斯坦福大学医学院的医生，也是该校空气污染和健康研究主任 。她指出，早期研究已经将冠状病毒的严重程度与肺部功能较弱以及生活在污染较严重地区的人们联系起来 。
在澳大利亚，警方在社交媒体上分享了一则袋鼠的视频 。视频显示，袋鼠在阿德莱德市区的一个空旷社区跳来跳去 。最近，数只野生胡狼占领了以色列特拉维夫的一个城市公园 。
杜克大学的皮姆指出，动物并未入侵人类的家园 。这些野生动物一直存在，但是许多动物只在没人的时候出现 。
人类活动通常导致海龟很难在沙滩上产卵 。筑巢海龟需要安静的环境 。大卫·戈弗雷表示，当小乌龟从卵中出来后，它们可能会因光线太亮很难寻找入水的路线 。戈弗雷是海龟保护协会的执行理事 。