Day 4: Air Quality Around the World - Air Quality Awareness Week 2020

(This blog is one part of a series about air quality and your health. We encourage you to check the Air Quality Index (AQI) to decide when it’s best to be active outdoors. See part 1, part 2, part 3). 

Weather, topography, population, industry emissions, and natural events like wildfires all influence the quality of our air. It fluctuates from place to place around the world due to different environmental circumstances. In a word, air quality changes — and it changes all the time. 

What is the Air Quality in other countries? 

The quality of our air also depends on where you live. Due to a variety of factors, air quality is better in some areas than in others – some places just have really good air, and some places generally don’t. The picture below shows a snapshot of the AQI around the world last week.  

Has Air Quality been affected by COVID-19? 

In an effort to contain the coronavirus pandemic, billions of people have been told to stay at home. In China, authorities placed almost half a billion people under lockdown, the equivalent of nearly 7% of the world’s population. Many other countries have since taken similar measures, initially in hard-hit Italy and Spain, and more recently in the United States and India. 

With all the “Stay at Home” and quarantine polices in affect over the past few months, some countries have seen a significant decrease in air pollution. China, India, and Italy have all experienced better air quality since restrictions have been imposed.  

Here are some resources for global COVID-19 related air quality improvements: 

Even within the United States, some cities are seeing improvements: 

How does Nevada’s Air Quality compare with other cities? 

In general, Nevadans enjoy pretty clean air. Sure, we’re affected by traffic, smoke from wildfires, and the occasional dust storm, but for the most part, our air quality is good. 

For comparison, below are a couple of plots showing the 2019 air quality for Carson City, Nevada and Fresno, California. 

These are for particulate matter: 



And these are for ozone: 

You can check the real time air quality at and see for yourself! 

Be sure to check back in tomorrow for the last installment of our Air Quality Awareness Week posts – Educational Resources for Families and Teachers.