Impacts of covid-19 on air quality over china: Links with meteorological factors and energy consumption

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Abstract

The stringent control measures in China to curb the spread of Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) have had profound societal and environmental impacts, including changes in energy consumption practices and thereby in air pollutant emissions. In this study, a suite of satellite and numerically assimilated air pollution and meteorological data combined with information on energy consumption practices and nighttime light (NTL) was used to evaluate the effects of these COVID-19 control measures on air quality. These data revealed that control measures reduced aerosols mostly over central and eastern parts of China by countering favorable meteorological conditions for increased aerosols. The control measures reduced short-lived nitrogen dioxide (NO2) with little influence on long-lived carbon monoxide (CO). Consistent with energy production and energy consumption statistics in different sectors, NTL data suggest that high human mobility within the residential sector and reduced activity in other sectors during the implementation of control measures explain small but significant decreases in black carbon and sulfate aerosols, respectively, during this period. Overall, these results provide useful information for policy makers and the scientific community by clarifying the contributions of meteorological factors and energy consumption to changes in air quality. This information can guide the development of air pollution mitigation strategies and provides insight into the air pollution status in China and the potential for long-distance transport.

Original languageEnglish
Article number200668
JournalAerosol and Air Quality Research
Volume21
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Oct

Keywords

  • Air quality
  • COVID-19
  • Energy consumption
  • Nighttime light

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Pollution

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