JpGU-AGU Joint Meeting 2020

Presentation information

[E] Poster

U (Union ) » Union

[U-22] Environmental drivers and impacts of the evolving COVID-19 pandemic

convener:Benjamin F Zaitchik(Johns Hopkins University), Teppei J Yasunari(Arctic Research Center, Hokkaido University)

[U22-P06] Limited Regional Aerosol Changes Despite Unprecedented NO2 Decline During the February Coronavirus Shutdown in China

*Michael S S Diamond1, Robert Wood1 (1.University of Washington Seattle)

Keywords:Aerosol, Cloud, NOx, COVID-19, Pollution, Remote sensing

Following the emergence of a novel coronavirus in Wuhan, the People’s Republic of China instituted a number of strict lockdown and more general socio-economic shutdown measures throughout the country starting in late January and continuing into February 2020 in order to arrest the spread of the disease. This resulted in a sharp economic contraction unparalleled in recent Chinese history. Satellite remote sensing shows that nitrogen oxide pollution declined by an unprecedented amount (~50% regionally) from its expected unperturbed value, but regional-scale column aerosol loadings and cloud microphysical properties were not detectably affected. The disparate impact may be tied to differential economic impacts of the shutdown, in which the transportation sector, a disproportionate source of nitrogen oxide emissions, underwent drastic declines (~90% reductions in passenger traffic), whereas industry and power generation, responsible for >90% of particulate emissions, were relatively less affected (~10% reductions in electricity and thermal power generation). Meteorology (particularly warm temperatures) and non-linear chemical reactions also likely played a role in driving the disparity.