We don't know how long these will last but many cannot help but have noticed the deeper shade of blue in our skies this spring?
We all know that air traffic has all but disappeared plus there are many less vehicles on our roads. This has resulted in definite improvements in air quality with the decreased air pollution levels.
The previously smog-filled skies are cleaner, clearer and bluer than they have been in years.
What has been happening?
According to William Collins, a climate professor at the University of Reading in England, pollution adds a layer of haze to the air, making the sky look paler than it really is.
He says: "The absence of traffic will be having an effect. The current skies are the kind of blue you'd expect to see on a nice tropical island somewhere. Everybody's been noticing it."
Another expert (in atmospheric chemistry), Professor James Lee from the University of York said: "Since the lockdown, there has been quite a large drop in nitrogen dioxide almost uniformly in every city that we've looked at by 30 to 40%."
In some of the major cities in the UK and the USA, views which were once hindered by thick layers of pollution have become visible once again.
Elsewhere around the world, lower pollution levels have also resulted in India's skyline looking bluer for the first time in years, while a decline in carbon emissions over in China has cleared the air there, too
Blue skies can help to boost our moods
The color blue brings on feelings of serenity and peace. Watching the blue sky can even put us into a mild meditative state.
Of course the sunlight that comes with that blue sky increases the brain’s production of serotonin, leading to a positive effect on our mood and our sleep and our stress levels. That same sunlight is one of the best sources of vitamin D, as exposure to UVB rays causes cholesterol in our skin to synthesize vitamin D3. Get tested for your vitamin D levels. You should be well above 40 ng/mL to be in the safe levels and if you are not, then supplement with vitamin D3 (suggested dose is 8000 IU s per day until you are out of the deficiency zone).
When we are deprived of blue skies for some time (such as during those gray winter months), we can become SADso that we suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder. Serotonin also plays a part in understanding SAD. Known as the feel good hormone, SAD sufferers tend to have low levels of serotonin during winter-time, mainly caused by the overproduction of melatonin making us feel sluggish and down in the dumps. During this period, our circadian rhythm (the body’s internal body clock) is disrupted as a result, causing symptoms such as insomnia, lethargy and anxiety.
"Mr. Blue Sky, please tell us why You had to hide away for so long (So long) Where did we go wrong? Hey there, Mr. Blue (Sky) We're so pleased to be with you (Sky) Look around, see what you do (Blue) Everybody smiles at you"
Jane writes for Healing Natural Oils, a producer and retailer of high-quality, all-natural treatments for a variety of conditions as well as a range of beauty products. Apart from writing about those various conditions, she also covers general health, environmental and other subjects of interest. She has lived in Kenya as well as Cape Town, South Africa and spent time in San Diego, USA. She now lives in Somerset, England with regular visits from her far-flung children and grandchildren. She is a keen gardener and enjoys growing fresh fruit and vegetables with her husband on their joint allotment. As a result, there is something available to use in the kitchen virtually all year round. Her regular posts can be found on our blog.