2020: Year in Review

Like every year, at the end of December, I write an article about my blog statistics and environmental news related to air quality and air pollution that shaped the planet during the year.

2020 was one of the worst years in history due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but also because of the massive wildfires that have burnt vital forests and they have destroyed ecosystems.

Wildfires are by-products of climate change, and they will get worse. Also, get ready for floods.

In 2020, over 9,279 fires have burned more than 4,359,517 acres, which equals to 4% of the roughly 100 million acres of land in the US. The effects of smoke could be long-lasting. Kids and asthmatic are especially at risk. Personally, I believe that air pollution affects everybody, the difference is that kids and elders are more likely to experience the consequences in the short-term.

Unfortunately, fires are not only a naturally occurring event. Each year we burn a lot of things. From stubble burning to wood burning for heating and from stupid and archaic bonfires to BBQs. I receive emails and tweets from people all over the world where people share with me their experience with air pollution.

Each year in late-October, farmers in northern India burn off crop debris, a practice known as stubble burning. They don’t take into consideration their health and the health of the people that live miles away from them, and they will have to breathe this toxic mixture of gases and particles. In Murcia, a southern city in Spain, people suffer every single day from fires and smoke because of the practice of agricultural burning, which is prohibited by the Spanish Law 22/2011. The examples are endless, believe me, and they are present all over the world. It doesn’t matter if you live in a developed or developing country.

#StopQuemasMurcia #India #AirPollution

Another important piece of news in 2020 was the ruling that made 9-year-old Ella Kissi-Debrah the first person in the world for whom air pollution is listed as a cause of death. This is a legal history in the UK, and I hope people won’t forget it. My sincere respect to the family for their hard work to raise awareness about air pollution.

In most cases, political unwillingness to address the issue or apply the already established laws are the reasons each year the same events happen. Lowering the life expectancy and creating numerous health issues to the citizens from Alzheimer’s disease to diabetes and heart failure to pregnancy loss to name a few.

Statistics

Each year, my blog receives almost double the amount of traffic as the year before. However, due to the COVID-19 and the wildfires in 2020, the blog was reached by 193K visitors in 2020, which is three times more than last year. Keep in mind, my blog is all about air pollution/quality, a very narrow subject but at the same time very important for all of us. Google, Twitter, and Facebook are the top three referrers to my blog.

Top Countries

  1. USA
  2. Canada
  3. Philippines
  4. UK
  5. Hong Kong
  6. India

Featured Articles

Top 3 Articles

Conclusion

In 2020 scientists published a lot of papers about air pollution, associating it with subjective health, morbidity, and mortality. They even found a correlation between air pollution and COVID-19 in big cities. In another study, scientists estimate that exposure to air pollution increases COVID-19 deaths by 15% worldwide.

It is our responsibility not to close our eyes and see the air we breathe.

2 thoughts on “2020: Year in Review

  1. Happy New Year Sotirios,
    Thank you for your year-end review and your attention to the fires in particular is appreciated. Everyone in California remembers the days that the sky turned orange- all day- from distant fires. Also really liked the live map illustrating the fires’ ubiquity including in South America and Siberia.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Happy New Year and Thank you Rebecca for your support. Air quality is a huge topic to cover and frankly very important for all. Hopefully, more and more people will become aware of the issues and will join the movement. Take care.

      Like

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