Air quality improvement during covid-19 lockdown in bangkok metropolitan, thailand: Effect of the long-range transport of air pollutants

Parichat Wetchayont, Tadahiro Hayasaka, Khatri Pradeep

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Lockdown measures have been adopted in many countries worldwide due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, including in Thailand. Air quality improvements with regard to restrictions of daily movement among Bangkok people have been reported. This study explores the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak and long-range pollution on air quality in Bangkok Metropolitan, Thailand by using ground-based and satellite measurements such as MODIS and TROPOMI data. Moreover, the results project some possible future trends of air quality in Bangkok Metropolitan. The 24-hr average concentrations of PM2.5, O3, NO2, CO and SO2 were compared between the periods of Normal, Lockdown and New Normal. PM2.5 concentrations increased by 20.56% during the Normal period and decreased by –15.79% and –23.34% during the Lockdown and New Normal periods, respectively, compared to the same periods in 2017–2019. There were also significant decreasing trends in O3: –7.13% and 4.72%; and CO: –8.01% and 23.59% during the Lockdown and New Normal periods, respectively, while NO2 and SO2 concentrations showed increasing trends during the three periods. The MODIS and TROPOMI data analyses indicate the COVID-19 outbreak has had significant positive impact on surface pollution, but no impact on upper atmospheric pollution due to added pollution from long-range transport. The results also demonstrate that surface air pollution had a combination effect from biomass burning, traffic, industrial and household sources during the Lockdown period, except for SO2 concentrations, which were attributed to long-range transport pollution loading. In some cases, a negative impact of the COVID-19 lockdown on air pollution can be observed due to certain activities increasing within Bangkok Metropolitan. Additionally, the results also show that changing the lifestyle into a “new normal” for people in Bangkok after the Lockdown period has had a positive effect on air pollution.

Original languageEnglish
Article number200662
JournalAerosol and Air Quality Research
Volume21
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Keywords

  • Bangkok
  • COVID-19
  • Long-range air pollution
  • PM2.5
  • Pollution
  • Thailand

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Pollution

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