Articles | Volume 21, issue 10
Research article
19 May 2021
Research article |  | 19 May 2021

Impacts of the COVID-19 lockdown on air pollution at regional and urban background sites in northern Italy

Jean-Philippe Putaud, Luca Pozzoli, Enrico Pisoni, Sebastiao Martins Dos Santos, Friedrich Lagler, Guido Lanzani, Umberto Dal Santo, and Augustin Colette

Related authors

Impact of 2020 COVID-19 lockdowns on particulate air pollution across Europe
Jean-Philippe Putaud, Enrico Pisoni, Alexander Mangold, Christoph Hueglin, Jean Sciare, Michael Pikridas, Chrysanthos Savvides, Jakub Ondracek, Saliou Mbengue, Alfred Wiedensohler, Kay Weinhold, Maik Merkel, Laurent Poulain, Dominik van Pinxteren, Hartmut Herrmann, Andreas Massling, Claus Nordstroem, Andrés Alastuey, Cristina Reche, Noemí Pérez, Sonia Castillo, Mar Sorribas, Jose Antonio Adame, Tuukka Petaja, Katrianne Lehtipalo, Jarkko Niemi, Véronique Riffault, Joel F. de Brito, Augustin Colette, Olivier Favez, Jean-Eudes Petit, Valérie Gros, Maria I. Gini, Stergios Vratolis, Konstantinos Eleftheriadis, Evangelia Diapouli, Hugo Denier van der Gon, Karl Espen Yttri, and Wenche Aas
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 23, 10145–10161,,, 2023
Short summary
Seasonality of the particle number concentration and size distribution: a global analysis retrieved from the network of Global Atmosphere Watch (GAW) near-surface observatories
Clémence Rose, Martine Collaud Coen, Elisabeth Andrews, Yong Lin, Isaline Bossert, Cathrine Lund Myhre, Thomas Tuch, Alfred Wiedensohler, Markus Fiebig, Pasi Aalto, Andrés Alastuey, Elisabeth Alonso-Blanco, Marcos Andrade, Begoña Artíñano, Todor Arsov, Urs Baltensperger, Susanne Bastian, Olaf Bath, Johan Paul Beukes, Benjamin T. Brem, Nicolas Bukowiecki, Juan Andrés Casquero-Vera, Sébastien Conil, Konstantinos Eleftheriadis, Olivier Favez, Harald Flentje, Maria I. Gini, Francisco Javier Gómez-Moreno, Martin Gysel-Beer, Anna Gannet Hallar, Ivo Kalapov, Nikos Kalivitis, Anne Kasper-Giebl, Melita Keywood, Jeong Eun Kim, Sang-Woo Kim, Adam Kristensson, Markku Kulmala, Heikki Lihavainen, Neng-Huei Lin, Hassan Lyamani, Angela Marinoni, Sebastiao Martins Dos Santos, Olga L. Mayol-Bracero, Frank Meinhardt, Maik Merkel, Jean-Marc Metzger, Nikolaos Mihalopoulos, Jakub Ondracek, Marco Pandolfi, Noemi Pérez, Tuukka Petäjä, Jean-Eudes Petit, David Picard, Jean-Marc Pichon, Veronique Pont, Jean-Philippe Putaud, Fabienne Reisen, Karine Sellegri, Sangeeta Sharma, Gerhard Schauer, Patrick Sheridan, James Patrick Sherman, Andreas Schwerin, Ralf Sohmer, Mar Sorribas, Junying Sun, Pierre Tulet, Ville Vakkari, Pieter Gideon van Zyl, Fernando Velarde, Paolo Villani, Stergios Vratolis, Zdenek Wagner, Sheng-Hsiang Wang, Kay Weinhold, Rolf Weller, Margarita Yela, Vladimir Zdimal, and Paolo Laj
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 21, 17185–17223,,, 2021
Short summary
Comparison of source apportionment approaches and analysis of non-linearity in a real case model application
Claudio A. Belis, Guido Pirovano, Maria Gabriella Villani, Giuseppe Calori, Nicola Pepe, and Jean Philippe Putaud
Geosci. Model Dev., 14, 4731–4750,,, 2021
Short summary
Non-linear response of PM2.5 to changes in NOx and NH3 emissions in the Po basin (Italy): consequences for air quality plans
Philippe Thunis, Alain Clappier, Matthias Beekmann, Jean Philippe Putaud, Cornelis Cuvelier, Jessie Madrazo, and Alexander de Meij
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 21, 9309–9327,,, 2021
Short summary
Comparison of co-located refractory black carbon (rBC) and elemental carbon (EC) mass concentration measurements during field campaigns at several European sites
Rosaria E. Pileci, Robin L. Modini, Michele Bertò, Jinfeng Yuan, Joel C. Corbin, Angela Marinoni, Bas Henzing, Marcel M. Moerman, Jean P. Putaud, Gerald Spindler, Birgit Wehner, Thomas Müller, Thomas Tuch, Arianna Trentini, Marco Zanatta, Urs Baltensperger, and Martin Gysel-Beer
Atmos. Meas. Tech., 14, 1379–1403,,, 2021
Short summary

Related subject area

Subject: Aerosols | Research Activity: Field Measurements | Altitude Range: Troposphere | Science Focus: Chemistry (chemical composition and reactions)
Impact of weather patterns and meteorological factors on PM2.5 and O3 responses to the COVID-19 lockdown in China
Fuzhen Shen, Michaela I. Hegglin, and Yue Yuan
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 24, 6539–6553,,, 2024
Short summary
Daytime and nighttime aerosol soluble iron formation in clean and slightly polluted moist air in a coastal city in eastern China
Wenshuai Li, Yuxuan Qi, Yingchen Liu, Guanru Wu, Yanjing Zhang, Jinhui Shi, Wenjun Qu, Lifang Sheng, Wencai Wang, Daizhou Zhang, and Yang Zhou
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 24, 6495–6508,,, 2024
Short summary
Non-negligible secondary contribution to brown carbon in autumn and winter: inspiration from particulate nitrated and oxygenated aromatic compounds in urban Beijing
Yanqin Ren, Zhenhai Wu, Yuanyuan Ji, Fang Bi, Junling Li, Haijie Zhang, Hao Zhang, Hong Li, and Gehui Wang
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 24, 6525–6538,,, 2024
Short summary
Simultaneous organic aerosol source apportionment at two Antarctic sites reveals large-scale and ecoregion-specific components
Marco Paglione, David C. S. Beddows, Anna Jones, Thomas Lachlan-Cope, Matteo Rinaldi, Stefano Decesari, Francesco Manarini, Mara Russo, Karam Mansour, Roy M. Harrison, Andrea Mazzanti, Emilio Tagliavini, and Manuel Dall'Osto
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 24, 6305–6322,,, 2024
Short summary
Measurement report: Optical characterization, seasonality, and sources of brown carbon in fine aerosols from Tianjin, North China: year-round observations
Zhichao Dong, Chandra Mouli Pavuluri, Peisen Li, Zhanjie Xu, Junjun Deng, Xueyan Zhao, Xiaomai Zhao, Pingqing Fu, and Cong-Qiang Liu
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 24, 5887–5905,,, 2024
Short summary

Cited articles

ARPA Lombardia: Stima preliminare delle emissioni in Lombardia durante l'emergenza COVID-19, available at:, last access: 9 October 2020a. 
ARPA Lombardia: Richiesta Dati, available at:, last access: 9 October 2020b. 
Baldasano, J. M.: COVID-19 lockdown effects on air quality by NO2 in the cities of Barcelona and Madrid (Spain), Sci. Total Environ., 741, 140353,, 2020. 
Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS): Quarterly report on ENSEMBLE NRT productions (daily analyses and forecasts) and their verification, at the surface and above surface March–April–May 2019, available at: (last access: 15 January 2021), 2019. 
Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS): Air quality information confirms reduced activity levels due to lockdown in Italy, 17 March 2020, available at:, last access: 9 October 2020a. 
Short summary
To determine the impact of the COVID lockdown on air quality in northern Italy, measurements of atmospheric pollutants (NO2, PM10, O3, NO, SO2 ) were compared to the output of a model ignoring the lockdown. We found that NO2 decreased on average by −30 % to −40 %. Unlike NO2, PM10 was not significantly affected due to the compensation of decreased emissions from traffic by increased emissions from domestic heating and/or by changes in atmospheric chemistry enhancing secondary aerosol formation.
Final-revised paper