Changes in air pollution during COVID-19 lockdown in Spain: A multi-city study

Ángel Serrano-Aroca , Álvaro Briz-Redón , Carolina Belenguer-Sapiña


Received May 15, 2020,Revised , Accepted July 31, 2020, Available online August 04, 2020

Volume 101,2021,Pages 16-26

The COVID-19 pandemic has escalated into one of the largest crises of the 21st Century. The new SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, responsible for COVID-19, has spread rapidly all around the world. The Spanish Government was forced to declare a nationwide lockdown in view of the rapidly spreading virus and high mortality rate in the nation. This study investigated the impact of short-term lockdown during the period from March 15th to April 12th 2020 on the atmospheric levels of CO, SO2, PM10, O3, and NO2 over 11 representative Spanish cities. The possible influence of several meteorological factors (temperature, precipitation, wind, sunlight hours, minimum and maximum pressure) on the pollutants' levels were also considered. The results obtained show that the 4-week lockdown had significant impact on reducing the atmospheric levels of NO2 in all cities except for the small city of Santander as well as CO, SO2, and PM10 in some cities, but resulted in increase of O3 level.

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