Air pollution impacts of COVID-19–related containment measures
Author(s)Chossière, Guillaume P. (Guillaume Pierre); Xu, Haofeng; Dixit, Yash; Isaacs, Stewart; Eastham, Sebastian David; Allroggen, Florian; Speth, Raymond L; Barrett, Steven R. H.; ... Show more Show less
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Responses to the COVID-19 outbreak resulted in one of the largest short-term decreases in anthropogenic emissions in modern history. To date, there has been no comprehensive assessment of the impact of lockdowns on air quality and human health. Using global satellite observations and ground measurements from 36 countries in Europe, North America, and East Asia, we find that lockdowns led to reductions in NO₂ concentrations globally, resulting in ~32,000 avoided premature mortalities, including ~21,000 in China. However, we do not find corresponding reductions in PM[subscript 2.5] and ozone globally. Using satellite measurements, we show that the disconnect between NO₂ and ozone changes stems from local chemical regimes. The COVID-related lockdowns demonstrate the need for targeted air quality policies to reduce the global burden of air pollution, especially related to secondary pollutants.
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics; Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Joint Program on the Science & Policy of Global Change
American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
Chossière, Guillaume P. et al. "Air pollution impacts of COVID-19–related containment measures." Science Advances 7, 21 (May 2021): eabe1178 © 2021 The Authors
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