Articles | Volume 21, issue 10
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 21, 7597–7609, 2021
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 21, 7597–7609, 2021

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 et al.

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Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss.,,, 2021
Revised manuscript under review for ACP
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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