As the world grapples to contain coronavirus outbreak, scientists have noticed some positive changes in Earth's health. Apart from the rapid decline in levels of air pollution and other warming gases, the researchers have discovered that the pandemic has actually led to a drop in seismic noise in the Earth's crust.
Citing the study by researchers from the Royal Observatory of Belgium, Mirror reports that there is a surprising change in the way Earth "physically moves." As per the report, the team suggests that the decline in "seismic noise - the hum of vibrations in the Earth's crust" could be because of the lockdowns in major parts of the world.
Lockdowns in various parts of the world, particularly fast-moving cities around the globe, have brought industrial activities to a standstill and human movement to a stop. These shutdowns in the countries across the globe come as a preventive measure and a desperate attempt to contain the highly contagious disease COVID-19 that has so far claimed more than 50,000 lives and infected more than a million people.
The researchers leading the study used a seismometer, an instrument used to detect and record earthquakes, to analyse the physical movement of the Earth. The findings reveal that the seismic noise in Brussels has dropped by one third in the last few weeks since the lockdown was first introduced.
Thomas Lecocq, a Geologist, the leading author of the study reportedly tweeted: "The current mean noise level is 33% lower than before the #StayHomeBelgium measures."
It is said that the scientists at the California Institute of Technology have also come up with similar findings in Los Angeles.
Celeste Labedz, another researcher of the study, tweeted a graph of Earth's seismic activity and wrote: "Here's daily mode noise power from a station in Los Angeles over the past month; the drop is seriously wild."
Lecocq believes that "there's a big chance indeed it could lead to better measurements."
As per News 18, stations in France and New Zealand have also reported the changes in human-induced seismic vibrations and notes that the earth is "less noisy" at this time.
"Lots of our seismometers are seeing a drop in noise levels as human activity decreases. The image shows our GAT2 station beside Gatwick airport. Upper image is from Monday 24th February (normal situation), lower image Monday 30th March," BGS seismology wrote on their Twitter account.
This is not the only change the lockdown has resulted in. Pollutant levels and nitrogen dioxide emissions have dropped. These emissions are related to air and road transportation and have threatened the health of our planet for decades.