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Travel Air quality improvement during COVID lockdowns less drastic than thought: Study

05:36  14 january  2021
05:36  14 january  2021 Source:   abcnews.go.com

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improvement during COVID -19 lockdowns less drastic than previously thought : Study . and Delhi -- and discovered that although air quality did improve , it was by less than expected. But while recent studies have explored the air quality impacts of the early 2020 lockdowns , many have

The first COVID -19 lockdowns led to significant changes in urban air pollution levels around the world, but the changes were smaller than expected—a new study Observed vs. real changes in urban air quality and concentrations of ozone and nitrogen dioxide during lockdowns in selected cities.

A potential silver lining of the devastating COVID-19 pandemic, a drop in greenhouse gas emissions because of the massive reduction in ground and air travel during lockdowns, may not be as drastic as previously thought, new research shows.

a view of a city: An empty street is seen in Wuhan, China, March 4, 2020. © Noel Celis/AFP via Getty Images An empty street is seen in Wuhan, China, March 4, 2020. MORE: COVID-19 brought emissions way down in 2020, but what will happen when the pandemic is over?

Researchers in the U.K. from the University of Birmingham looked at 11 large cities -- Beijing, Wuhan, Milan, Rome, Madrid, London, Paris, Berlin, New York, Los Angeles and Delhi -- and discovered that although air quality did improve, it was by less than expected. Their findings were published Wednesday in Science.

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The COVID -19 lockdown has led to a significant decrease in Nitrogen Dioxide emissions. The improvement in air quality hasn't been seen as a positive by

During the COVID ‐19 outbreak that took place in China in early 2020, the surface emissions of air pollutants including nitrogen oxides (a product of combustion by traffic, industry, and residential activity) have been severely reduced following the lockdown of major cities.

Times Square street: New York's Times Square is seen nearly empty due to the COVID-19 pandemic, March 16, 2020 in New York. © Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images New York's Times Square is seen nearly empty due to the COVID-19 pandemic, March 16, 2020 in New York.

When scientists separated the effects of the lockdown restrictions from weather and business-as-usual events, they found that clearing the air of secondary pollutants such as ozone and fine particulate matter may prove more complicated than reducing precursor emissions, such as nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds that result from chemical processes in the atmosphere.

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But while recent studies have explored the air quality impacts of the early 2020 lockdowns, many have not accounted for weather, which can moderate pollutant concentrations, according to the study.

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During the lockdown , the government has asked the people to avoid unnecessary travel which has significantly reduced the traffic movement. According to the centre-run System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR), the measures against COVID -19 have led to a drop in

During the total lockdown , most of the sources for poor air quality were stopped in India. The aim of this paper is to study the impact of a complete lockdown in India on air quality (PM 2.5 , AQI, and NO 2 ) during COVID -19 by comparing air quality parameters during March 2019 and 2020.

a train traveling down train tracks near a building: An Italian Carabinieri car checks the traffic of the street around ancient Colosseum, in Rome, March 14, 2020, during the COVID-19 outbreak. © Andreas Solaro/AFP via Getty Images An Italian Carabinieri car checks the traffic of the street around ancient Colosseum, in Rome, March 14, 2020, during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Jason Smerdon, a climate scientist for Columbia University's Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory, told ABC News last month that transportation saw the largest reductions in emissions in 2020, accounting for about 40% of all reductions.

MORE: How coronavirus impacts climate change with emissions reductions

The study's authors found that reductions in automobile traffic led to an immediate decline in nitrogen oxide levels across all cities. However, less than 30% of the shift could be attributed to lockdown effects in most cases, in part due to continued emissions from other sources.

a view of a city: An empty street is seen in Wuhan, China, March 4, 2020. © Noel Celis/AFP via Getty Images An empty street is seen in Wuhan, China, March 4, 2020.

Ozone concentrations actually increased during the lockdown, the researchers found. Additionally, sudden decreases in particulate matter, isolated from weather and business trends, were not observed immediately after lockdowns began.

The research shows that massive drops in transportation-linked emissions are not a single solution to improving air quality but perhaps part of a larger, systemic overhaul, especially in cities, that takes into account "both primary emissions and secondary processes to maximize the overall benefits to air quality and human health."

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