Pandemic lockdown is making the Earth vibrate less, seismologists say

The social restrictions placed on the world’s population due to the coronavirus pandemic aren’t just having an effect on air pollution but also the world beneath our feet.

Seismologists are finding out that with millions of people confined to their homes, Earth itself is actually vibrating less.

Cars, trains, pedestrians and the general hustle and bustle of everyday life is growing quieter and, as a result, ground movements in Earth’s upper crust are decreasing.

This was pointed out by Thomas Lecocq, a geologist and seismologist from the Royal Observatory in Brussels.

He said the current levels of noise in the Earth’s crust are about what experts would normally see on Christmas day, when most people are staying at home anyway.

Scientists in Bern, Geneva and Zurich in Switzerland have also reported a drop in noise levels.

Around one-third of the world’s population, or more than 2 billion people, are currently in lockdown, staying at home or observing social distancing measures.

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