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New York sees 50% drop in carbon monoxide levels in March due to lockdown

According to data from Columbia University, early results show carbon monoxide levels, mainly from trucks and cars, have dropped by nearly 50 percent compared with last year.

CO2 emissions in the state have also decreased by an estimated five-ten percent and there has been a 'solid drop' in methane emissions.

'Exceptionally high'

"New York has had exceptionally high carbon monoxide numbers for the last year and a half," Professor Róisín Commane who conducted the New York air monitoring work told the BBC.

"And this is the cleanest I have ever seen it. It's is less than half of what we normally see in March."

Traffic levels

The significant drop has been credited to the decrease in traffic levels in the city - which were estimated to have curbed by 35 percent compared to last year, due to the current pandemic.

Professor Róisín also states the outbreak, which has caused shutdowns in several countries, will impact CO2 levels for the whole of 2020.

"It will depend on how long the pandemic lasts, and how widespread the slowdown is in the economy particularly in the US. But most likely I think we will see something in the global emissions this year," she added. 


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