skip to main content

This content will become publicly available on July 14, 2023

Title: Tropospheric Nitrogen Dioxide Increases Past Pre-Pandemic Levels Due to Economic Reopening in India
This paper analyzes the spatiotemporal patterns of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) tropospheric vertical column densities (TVCDs) before and during the second wave of COVID-19 in India. The results indicate that the NO2 columns increase significantly in the reopening period before the second wave (Mar. 1 ∼ Apr. 20) in 2021, which exceed the levels of the same period in 2019. The relative difference from the mean of 2010–2019 is 18.76% higher in 2021 than that of 2019, during the reopening. The paper identifies Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and West Bengal as the five states with the largest increases in relative difference from 2019 to 2021, which are 33.81%, 29.83%, 23.86%, 30.01%, and 25.48% respectively. As illustrated by trends in the indices of industrial production (IIP), these unexpected increases in tropospheric NO2 can be attributed to reopening as well as elevated production across various sectors including electricity, manufacturing and mining. Analysis of NO2 TVCD levels alongside IIPs indicate a marked increase in industrial activity during the reopening period in 2021 than in the same time period in 2019. After the beginning of the second wave of COVID-19 (Apr. 21 ∼ Jun. 21), India re-implemented lockdown policies to mitigate the spread of more » the pandemic. During this period, the relative difference of total NO2 columns declined in India as well as in most individual study regions, when compared to 2019, due to the pandemic mitigation policies. The relative declines are as follows: 6.43% for the whole country and 14.25%, 22.88%, 4.57% and 7.89% for Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhan, respectively, which contain large industrial clusters. The change in relative difference in West Bengal from 2019 to 2021 is not significant during the re-lockdown period with a 0.04% increase. As with the first wave, these decreases in NO2 TVCD mainly due to the mitigation policies during the second wave. « less
; ; ;
Award ID(s):
Publication Date:
Journal Name:
Frontiers in Environmental Science
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. The recent COVID-19 pandemic has prompted global governments to take several measures to limit and contain the spread of the novel virus. In the United States (US), most states have imposed a partial to complete lockdown that has led to decreased traffic volumes and reduced vehicle emissions. In this study, we investigate the impacts of the pandemic-related lockdown on air quality in the US using remote sensing products for nitrogen dioxide tropospheric column (NO2), carbon monoxide atmospheric column (CO), tropospheric ozone column (O3), and aerosol optical depth (AOD). We focus on states with distinctive anomalies and high traffic volume, New York (NY), Illinois (IL), Florida (FL), Texas (TX), and California (CA). We evaluate the effectiveness of reduced traffic volume to improve air quality by comparing the significant reductions during the pandemic to the interannual variability (IAV) of a respective reference period for each pollutant. We also investigate and address the potential factors that might have contributed to changes in air quality during the pandemic. As a result of the lockdown and the significant reduction in traffic volume, there have been reductions in CO and NO2. These reductions were, in many instances, compensated by local emissions and, or affected by meteorologicalmore »conditions. Ozone was reduced by varying magnitude in all cases related to the decrease or increase of NO2 concentrations, depending on ozone photochemical sensitivity. Regarding the policy impacts of this large-scale experiment, our results indicate that reduction of traffic volume during the pandemic was effective in improving air quality in regions where traffic is the main pollution source, such as in New York City and FL, while was not effective in reducing pollution events where other pollution sources dominate, such as in IL, TX and CA. Therefore, policies to reduce other emissions sources (e.g., industrial emissions) should also be considered, especially in places where the reduction in traffic volume was not effective in improving air quality (AQ).« less
  2. This work quanti es mobility changes observed during the di erent phases of the pandemic world-wide at multiple resolutions { county, state, country { using an anonymized aggregate mobility map that captures population ows between geographic cells of size 5 km2. As we overlay the global mobility map with epidemic incidence curves and dates of government interventions, we observe that as case counts rose, mobility fell and has since then seen a slow but steady increase in ows. Further, in order to understand mixing within a region, we propose a new metric to quantify the e ect of social distancing on the basis of mobility.Taking two very di erent countries sampled from the global spectrum, We analyze in detail the mobility patterns of the United States (US) and India. We then carry out a counterfactual analysis of delaying the lockdown and show that a one week delay would have doubled the reported number of cases in the US and India. Finally, we quantify the e ect of college students returning back to school for the fall semester on COVID-19 dynamics in the surrounding community. We employ the data from a recent university outbreak (reported on August 16, 2020) to infermore »possible Re values and mobility ows combined with daily prevalence data and census data to obtain an estimate of new cases that might arrive on a college campus. We nd that maintaining social distancing at existing levels would be e ective in mitigating the extra seeding of cases. However, potential behavioral change and increased social interaction amongst students (30% increase in Re ) along with extra seeding can increase the number of cases by 20% over a period of one month in the encompassing county. To our knowledge, this work is the rst to model in near real-time, the interplay of human mobility, epidemic dynamics and public policies across multiple spatial resolutions and at a global scale.« less
  3. The spread of the COVID-19 pandemic and consequent lockdowns all over the world have had various impacts on atmospheric quality. This study aimed to investigate the impact of the lockdown on the air quality of Nanjing, China. The off-axis measurements from state-of-the-art remote-sensing Multi-Axis Differential Optical Absorption Spectroscope (MAX-DOAS) were used to observe the trace gases, i.e., Formaldehyde (HCHO), Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2), and Sulfur Dioxide (SO2), along with the in-situ time series of NO2, SO2 and Ozone (O3). The total dataset covers the span of five months, from 1 December 2019, to 10 May 2020, which comprises of four phases, i.e., the pre lockdown phase (1 December 2019, to 23 January 2020), Phase-1 lockdown (24 January 2020, to 26 February 2020), Phase-2 lockdown (27 February 2020, to 31 March 2020), and post lockdown (1 April 2020, to 10 May 2020). The observed results clearly showed that the concentrations of selected pollutants were lower along with improved air quality during the lockdown periods (Phase-1 and Phase-2) with only the exception of O3, which showed an increasing trend during lockdown. The study concluded that limited anthropogenic activities during the spring festival and lockdown phases improved air quality with a significant reduction ofmore »selected trace gases, i.e., NO2 59%, HCHO 38%, and SO2 33%. We also compared our results with 2019 data for available gases. Our results imply that the air pollutants concentration reduction in 2019 during Phase-2 was insignificant, which was due to the business as usual conditions after the Spring Festival (Phase-1) in 2019. In contrast, a significant contamination reduction was observed during Phase-2 in 2020 with the enforcement of a Level-II response in lockdown conditions i.e., the easing of the lockdown situation in some sectors during a specific interval of time. The observed ratio of HCHO to NO2 showed that tropospheric ozone production involved Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) limited scenarios.« less
  4. Since its first confirmed case at the end of 2019, COVID-19 has become a global pandemic in three months with more than 1.4 million confirmed cases worldwide, as of early April 2020. Quantifying the changes of pollutant emissions due to COVID-19 and associated governmental control measures is crucial to understand its impacts on economy, air pollution, and society. We used the WRF-GC model and the tropospheric NO2 column observations retrieved by the TROPOMI instrument to derive the top-down NOx emission change estimation between the three periods: P1 (January 1st to January 22nd, 2020), P2 (January 23rd, Wuhan lockdown, to February 9th, 2020), and P3 (February 10th, back-to-work day, to March 12th, 2020). We found that NOx emissions in East China averaged during P2 decreased by 50% compared to those averaged during P1. The NOx emissions averaged during P3 increased by 26% compared to those during P2. Most provinces in East China gradually regained some of their NOx emissions after February 10, the official back-to-work day, but NOx emissions in most provinces have not yet to return to their previous levels in early January. NOx emissions in Wuhan, the first epicenter of COVID-19, had no sign of emission recovering by Marchmore »12. A few provinces, such as Zhejiang and Shanxi, have recovered fast, with their averaged NOx emissions during P3 almost back to pre-lockdown levels.« less
  5. Abstract
    The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically altered family life in the United States. Over the long duration of the pandemic, parents had to adapt to shifting work conditions, virtual schooling, the closure of daycare facilities, and the stress of not only managing households without domestic and care supports but also worrying that family members may contract the novel coronavirus. Reports early in the pandemic suggest that these burdens have fallen disproportionately on mothers, creating concerns about the long-term implications of the pandemic for gender inequality and mothers’ well-being. Nevertheless, less is known about how parents’ engagement in domestic labor and paid work has changed throughout the pandemic, what factors may be driving these changes, and what the long-term consequences of the pandemic may be for the gendered division of labor and gender inequality more generally. <br /><br />The Study on U.S. Parents’ Divisions of Labor During COVID-19 (SPDLC) collects longitudinal survey data from partnered U.S. parents that can be used to assess changes in parents’ divisions of domestic labor, divisions of paid labor, and well-being throughout and after the COVID-19 pandemic. The goal of SPDLC is to understand both the short- and long-term impacts of the pandemic for the genderedMore>>