The environmental benefits of countries being in lockdown across the world have caused many to rejoice.

From clearer water in Venice to blue skies in Beijing, the world is seeing a positive benefit on the environment as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.

But experts are warning not to call it a silver lining, saying things will no doubt return to normal, with pollution levels even returning with a vengeance.

They also say reductions in pollution and emissions should be done without ruining economies.

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"I don't think of a silver lining," Wade McGillis, an associate professor of earth and environmental engineering at Columbia University, told Time magazine.

"I see it and I think those poor people who are not moving around and sheltered in place, and their lives being ruined."

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Nitrogen dioxide concentrations over France. Photo / Supplied
Nitrogen dioxide concentrations over France. Photo / Supplied

Increases in smog in countries that usually experience it have been down because of lockdowns.

Spring smogs usually reach a top value of 10 in the UK but have peaked at three.

New data shows strong reductions in nitrogen dioxide concentrations over several major cities across Europe, including Paris, Madrid and Rome.

Nitrogen dioxide is a by-product of burning fossil fuels that causes respiratory problems.

Satellite images have mapped air pollution across Europe and China and revealed a significant drop in nitrogen dioxide concentrations – coinciding with the strict quarantine measures.

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China's capital Beijing is seeing blue skies when it's known for its lung-choking levels of pollution, killing an estimated one million people in the country each year.

Against a blue sky, the Chinese flag flies at half-mast in Tiananmen Square to mourn those who died in the fight against Covid-19. Photo / Getty
Against a blue sky, the Chinese flag flies at half-mast in Tiananmen Square to mourn those who died in the fight against Covid-19. Photo / Getty

In China, carbon dioxide emissions decreased by a quarter between a few weeks in February.

But according to Lauri Myllyvirta, author of the Carbon Brief report and lead analyst at the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air, by the end of March, coal consumption and nitrogen dioxide pollution had returned to normal levels

Marcus Ferdinand, of independent Commodity Intelligence Services, predicts greenhouse gas emissions in Europe will drop 24.4 per cent this year because of lockdowns.

He told Forbes Italian power demand dropped 3 per cent during the first week of quarantine in March then by 10 per cent the week between March 16-18 compared to the 2015-2019 March average.

Clean waters are seen in Venice's canals as the result of the stoppage of motorboat traffic due to the coronavirus. Photo / Getty
Clean waters are seen in Venice's canals as the result of the stoppage of motorboat traffic due to the coronavirus. Photo / Getty

Venice canals are clearer because there are no gondolas and boats buzzing about.

People are reporting deserted streets like they've never seen them before in the bustling tourist spots across the country.

But reports swans had returned to canals in Venice were later shutdown by National Geographic, which said the animals regularly appeared where the photos were taken in Burano, a small island in the city.

Susan Clayton, a professor of psychology and environmental studies at the College of Wooster in Ohio, told the publication people wanted to believe in the power of nature to recover.

"People hope that, no matter what we've done, nature is powerful enough to rise above it," she said.

Covid19.govt.nz: The Government's official Covid-19 advisory website