Expert Pitch
Florida State University

FSU researcher available to comment on unintended environmental impacts of COVID-19

8-Apr-2020 1:50 PM EDT, by Florida State University

By: Anna Prentiss | Published: | 12:44 pm

As people around the world isolate in their homes to prevent the spread of COVID-19, research indicates there may be some positive environmental outcomes.

Robert O. Lawton Distinguished Professor Jeff Chanton from the Department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Science (EOAS) said data show significant decreases in air pollution since January 2020.

Chanton explained how the change in people’s patterns because of the pandemic has affected emissions. His research focuses on greenhouse gas production and emission in wetlands, landfills and the deep sea.

During his time at FSU, Chanton has amassed an impressive research record. He has published more than 240 journal articles on permafrost decomposition, food webs, methane emissions, the Gulf of Mexico and the impact of groundwater discharge on the health of coastal waters. His work has also attracted significant financial support — he has brought more than $15 million in contracts and grants to the university individually or with colleagues.

What are your thoughts on the environmental impacts of COVID-19?

I see this as being an opportunity for us to really see what it would look like to slow down, what the effects might be and what the consequences will be if we don’t. It is just so visual to us right now. I think a lot of individuals are thinking the same thing, and I hope we are taking this opportunity to really consider our path.   

Are there lessons to be learned from this or will this not really matter in the long run in terms of emissions? 

World economies are slowing down, and there will be massive spending by governments all over the world to jumpstart them.  

 It may make a difference if we spend more stimulus money on developing green power, or even nuclear power; something that would not emit CO2 — some sort of non-fossil fuel process where we can generate clean energy instead of digging stuff out of the ground, burning it and releasing carbon dioxide. 

 As we, through our governments, are going to be making massive investments to get out of this economic hole, let’s choose carefully how we make those investments. What is the best way to ensure the quality of the future for our children and grandchildren?  Let’s think beyond the next fiscal quarter.  Let’s think about our one Earth, recently shown by a virus to be so tiny. 

How do you feel nature will respond to this pandemic?  

Across Florida we are closing beaches to reduce gatherings of people that may spread the virus. With the beaches closed, for the first time in decades, the shore birds that come to nest there will have a chance to raise their young without people driving, sunbathing and walking their dogs all over them.   

To me this is an awesome window into reminding us who the original tenants of our beaches are. It is a pleasure to imagine other species, besides ourselves, being able to raise their young in their natural habitat.  

 How does the consumption of goods and food play into this discussion?  

Looking on the positive side of things, this pandemic is bringing our community together emphasizing sustainable activities. It will encourage us to reach out to our neighbors where we wouldn’t have otherwise.   

We should ask ourselves how many goods and things we are willing to not buy. How many things that need to be mass produced and shipped here from far away can we sacrifice? Can we curtail our lifestyles so our children can breathe better and have a more stable climate and a more sustainable future? 

We should treat this as an opportunity for people to learn more about each other and stop and breath. A social “pause.”   

 I hope we do learn from this. If we come back too fast and do the same things, we won’t have learned anything we might have during this time. 

Filters close

Showing results

110 of 5636
Released: 13-May-2021 7:05 PM EDT
FLCCC Statement on the Irregular Actions of Public Health Agencies & the Disinformation Campaign Against Ivermectin
Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance (FLCCC Alliance)

FLCCC Alliance calls for whistleblower to step forward from within WHO, the FDA, the NIH, Merck, or Unitaid to counter this misrepresentation

Newswise: shutterstock_1724336896.jpg
Released: 13-May-2021 12:55 PM EDT
Kreuter receives $1.9 million in grants to increase vaccinations in St. Louis
Washington University in St. Louis

Matthew Kreuter, the Kahn Family Professor of Public Health at the Brown School, has received $1.9 million in grants to help increase COVID-19 vaccinations among Blacks in St. Louis City and County.

Released: 13-May-2021 11:35 AM EDT
COVID-19 mRNA Vaccines are Immunogenic in Pregnant and Lactating Women, Including Against Viral Variants
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

In a new study from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center researchers evaluated the immunogenicity of COVID-19 mRNA vaccines in pregnant and lactating women who received either the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines. They found that both vaccines triggered immune responses in pregnant and lactating women.

Released: 13-May-2021 10:30 AM EDT
Pandemic stigma: Foreigners, doctors wrongly targeted for COVID-19 spread in India
Monash University

The Indian public blamed foreigners, minority groups and doctors for the rapid spread of COVID-19 across the country during the first wave, due to misinformation, rumour and long-held discriminatory beliefs, according to an international study led by Monash University.

Released: 13-May-2021 9:00 AM EDT
28 Community Programs Receive Grants Through Penn Medicine CAREs Program
Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania

Penn Medicine CAREs awarded grants to 28 projects, many of which aim to fill vast needs in the community created by the COVID-19 pandemic, while others seek to improve diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Released: 13-May-2021 9:00 AM EDT
How to Win Over Vaccine Skeptics: Live Expert Panel for May 20, 3pm ET

How to Win Over Vaccine Skeptics: Live Expert Panel for May 20, 3pm ET

Released: 13-May-2021 8:00 AM EDT
Dental procedures during pandemic are no riskier than a drink of water
Ohio State University

A new study’s findings dispel the misconception that patients and providers are at high risk of catching COVID-19 at the dentist’s office.

Newswise:Video Embedded lung-damage-not-the-culprit-for-post-covid-exercise-limitations
Released: 13-May-2021 7:00 AM EDT
Lung Damage Not the Culprit for Post-COVID Exercise Limitations
American Physiological Society (APS)

A new study suggests the lungs may not be the main factor that reduce exercise ability in people recovering from severe COVID-19. Anemia and muscle dysfunction also play a role. The study is published ahead of print in the Journal of Applied Physiology. It was chosen as an APSselect article for May.

Showing results

110 of 5636