It is still too early to draw any scientific conclusions, but if anything is clear is that the abrupt reduction of economic activity and population movement forced by the quarantine have an impact on the environment and generates multiple reactions that began to attract the attention of the experts.
In both National Parks, as well as in the Institute of Research in Biodiversity and Environment (Inibioma), and in the Biology degree that will be taught in the headquarters of Bariloche of the Universidad Nacional del Comahue, began to circular data and observations on the new scenario.
With look scientific, some speak of “experiment”. There expect the lifting of restrictions to “leave the field” to make measurements and others follow with amazement the indicators of stations that measure -for example – the quality of the air and already offer data evident on rapid decrease of the pollution in different parts of the planet.
The reports and studies will come with time, but the first evidence is in view, as the presence, increasingly frequent of wildlife in populated areas.
The biologist Esteban Balseiro, director of the Institute of Research in Biodiversity and Environment (Inibioma), said that one of the first visible consequences is that “the wildlife starts to move closer to the houses” and there are also significant changes in the quality of the air.
“For now, which raises many questions, the man has a very intense activity on all sides and suddenly stopped everything on a scale never before thought”. The records circulate at a great speed and Balseiro mentioned the the case of Italy, where “in just 15 days of quarantine, the satellite observations showed how it changed the quality of the air in the industrial areas. The difference is abysmal”.
The intendant of the Nahuel Huapi national park, Horacio Paradelasaid they received several reports of the presence of fauna not-as-usual “in city limits”among those who mentioned the appearance of a wild cat in villa Los Coihues and also several sights of foxes. He calculated that the same will happen with the birds, especially those species more sensitive to noise.
Paradela estimated that the changes in the environment as a result of the required isolation, and its subsequent diffusion, can contribute in the field of education and raising awareness “in the line of the campaign that already has Parks to propose the public use of sustainable,” of the natural environment and that is called “Single footprint”.
He stressed that “many say that there are things that will never be the same”. Considered one of the balances positive would be that more people understand the damage of the anthropomorphization uncontrolled and “the benefits it will bring to the health care for and maintain the quality of use” of the environments.
The phd in biology Thomas Kitzberger, specialist in ecology of the forestssaid that there is still no monitoring of comprehensive and “ex-post is going to need a good evaluation.”
He explained that the reduction of nitrous oxide in the atmosphere and other polluting gases have effects microenvironmental and they can be studied “global”, because the pandemic allows for that possibility. He described the current situation as an “experiment” without a history.
Kitzberger said a clear evidence is that “the changes are very fast” and denies to those who disbelieve on the need to reduce the emission of industrial gases to address the climate change.
He said that the institute in which you work “is surely going to schedule trips into the field.” to see in detail how it behaves, the nature with the temporary reduction of the human activity.
Kitzberger considered inexorable that there is a “rebound effect” and all again be as before, but the changes already surveyed responses can be generated at the global level. “It’s a matter of waiting for the subsequent data”, he said.
In his opinion, in addition to changes in the atmosphere, could be checked for changes in the habit of birds, fishes, and also in the quality of the water.
He recalled that the municipality has a station monitoring particles in the airthat works on the street vice Admiral O’connor and will be able to contribute valuable indicators. This journal consulted with the assistant secretary of Planning and Urban Sustainability in the municipality, Juan del Valle, who said that do not make a daily monitoring and lack of meaningful data.
To the intendant of the Nahuel Huapi National park, the emergence of native wildlife in places that are not asked “is a benefit for the spirit” in addition to a sign indisputable of higher environmental quality. Plus some felines that are to come, he also mentioned the advance of the red deer in the north of the park and the birds, that appear “most frequently” in bays of intensive use.
“Or Greta what she dreamed of”
Kitzberger said “from the point of view of the individual” should we expect any change in behavior, and ”higher consciousness” on the influence of the modes of consumption.
“This experiment can be used to understand the atmospheric dynamics, the dynamics of ecosystems, ” he said. It also serves to calibrate models cllimáticos. It is a practical demonstration of great utility.”
Noted that the studies on atmosphere are a field in which “everything is very difficult to predict” and the paralysis involuntary of industrial production, movement of vehicles and air-traffic-records “the changes are very fast”, in a dimension that “neither Greta dreamed of”. Was referring to the young Swedish Greta Thunberg, which gained recent notoriety with his claim to world leaders to commit to curbing climate change.
A case to cite
On the social learning that can result from a “study” spontaneous large-scale, Esteban Balseiro compared the current quarantine with something that happened years ago in Santiago de Chilewhere there is a serious problem of air pollution. “At one time, there was widespread accusation about transport, as the main source of pollution, and the carriers were angry -recalled-. Then they decided to stop and during a full day, there was no collective. Against what they expected, the measurements showed that this was the day of less pollution in Santiago in five years. There was not much more to discuss”.