BANGOR- If you’ve noticed more stars at night, it’s probably because the view got clearer.
With many people canceling trips and working from home, experts say there’s been a noticeable change in the atmosphere.
“We’re admitting fewer toxic gases into the air, greenhouse gases are decreasing, fewer small particulates are going into the air, so our air is much cleaner,” said Dr. Paul Mayewski, a professor and the director of the Climate Change Institute at the University of Maine. “As a result, we are temporarily a little bit healthier.”
Pollution in the air, especially particles, weaken people’s immune systems, which isn’t ideal, especially during a pandemic.
“These particles in the atmosphere lead to respiratory disease. Toxic metals in the air can lead to neurological disease,” Mayewski explained. “Climate change has made us less prepared for disease.”
Mayewski said the decreased amount of greenhouse gases will likely go away with the pandemic, but can serve as an example of what the future could look like.
“The fact we can live with less. Consume more local products is good for us,” Mayewski said. “It’s good for the environment. The fact that the economy is impacted of course is very serious, but this is an opportunity for us to think about how we might want to deal with energy in the future.”
While climate change is largely the result of people, the solution isn’t as simple as a vaccine.
“As time goes on, it will impact us more and more. It’s not something that’s going to appear in 2100 and have an impact, it’s already having an impact,” Mayewski said.
The climate change institute has an online tool to track climate change.
You can find that here.