Our responses to the COVID-19 pandemic have dramatically changed human activity all over the world. People are working from home, schools are closed in many places, travel is restricted, and in some cases only essential shops and businesses are open.
Scientists see signs of these changes wherever they look. Carbon dioxide emissions are down, air quality has improved, and there is less traffic.
The drop in activity has also been a surprising boon for earthquake scientists like us. Our sensitive instruments are detecting far less of the noise and vibration produced by humans in motion — which means we have a unique opportunity to listen in on tiny earthquakes we might never have detected otherwise.
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