Articles | Volume 22, issue 13
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 22, 8683–8699, 2022
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-22-8683-2022

Special issue: Effect of Megacities on the Transport and Transformation of...

Special issue: BLUESKY atmospheric composition measurements by aircraft during...

Atmos. Chem. Phys., 22, 8683–8699, 2022
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-22-8683-2022
Research article
 | Highlight paper
06 Jul 2022
Research article  | Highlight paper | 06 Jul 2022

Black carbon aerosol reductions during COVID-19 confinement quantified by aircraft measurements over Europe

Ovid O. Krüger et al.

Download

Interactive discussion

Status: closed

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on acp-2021-1100', Anonymous Referee #1, 17 Jan 2022
  • RC2: 'Comment on acp-2021-1100', Anonymous Referee #2, 07 Feb 2022
  • AC1: 'Comment on acp-2021-1100', Ovid O. Krüger, 22 Apr 2022

Peer review completion

AR: Author's response | RR: Referee report | ED: Editor decision
AR by Ovid O. Krüger on behalf of the Authors (22 Apr 2022)  Author's response    Author's tracked changes    Manuscript
ED: Publish as is (01 May 2022) by James Allan
ED: Publish subject to minor revisions (review by editor) (06 May 2022) by James Allan(Executive Editor)
AR by Ovid O. Krüger on behalf of the Authors (16 May 2022)  Author's response    Author's tracked changes    Manuscript
ED: Publish as is (23 May 2022) by James Allan
ED: Publish as is (25 May 2022) by Barbara Ervens(Executive Editor)
Download
Executive editor
Krüger et al. present observations of the effect of the COVID-19 lockdowns on black carbon emissions using a combination of airborne in situ observations and models. The impact of lockdowns on emissions from transport is by now well established, however the majority of studies to date have focused on NO2 as this is a regulated pollutant and high resolution observations are available in new satellite data products. This work instead uses a state-of-the-art airborne facility (DLR HALO) to report data on black carbon, which has established impacts both as a airborne pollutant damaging to human health, and as a highly potent short-lived climate forcing agent. Data from during the European lockdown period is compared with the prior EMeRGe campaign (https://acp.copernicus.org/articles/special_issue1074.html). The authors found a decrease in BC concentrations of 48% over Western and Southern Europe, of which 7% was likely due to meteorological differences during the two campaigns and 3-9% was due to a long-term downward trend, leading them to conclude that the lockdowns were overall responsible for a reduction in ambient concentrations of 32-38%. By seizing this unique opportunity, this study offers a new and unparalleled insight into the current nature of black carbon emissions from Europe. It also demonstrates how airborne in situ measurements and models can be used in combination to study the emission and transport of pollutants in the troposphere.
Short summary
The abrupt reduction in human activities during the first COVID-19 lockdown created unprecedented atmospheric conditions. We took the opportunity to quantify changes in black carbon (BC) as a major anthropogenic air pollutant. Therefore, we measured BC on board a research aircraft over Europe during the lockdown and compared the results to measurements from 2017. With model simulations we account for different weather conditions and find a lockdown-related decrease in BC of 41 %.
Altmetrics
Final-revised paper
Preprint