Articles | Volume 23, issue 2
Research article
19 Jan 2023
Research article |  | 19 Jan 2023

Hemispheric-wide climate response to regional COVID-19-related aerosol emission reductions: the prominent role of atmospheric circulation adjustments

Nora L. S. Fahrenbach and Massimo A. Bollasina

Data sets

ERA5 monthly averaged data on pressure levels from 1959 to present H. Hersbach, B. Bell, P. Berrisford, G. Biavati, A. Horányi, J. Muñoz Sabater, J. Nicolas, C. Peubey, R. Radu, I. Rozum, D. Schepers, A. Simmons, C. Soci, D. Dee, and J.-N. Thépaut

Emissions changes in 2020 due to Covid-19 (v4.0) P. M. Forster, R. D. Lamboll, and J. Rogelj

Precipitation Driver Response Model Intercomparison Project data sets 2013-2021 T. Andrews, O. Boucher, D. Fläschner, M. Kasoar, V. Kharin, A. Kirkevåg, J.-F. Lamarque, G. Myhre, J. Mülmenstädt, D. J. L. Oliviè, B. Samset, M. Sandstad, D. Shawki, D. Shindell, P. Stier, T. Takemura, A. Voulgarakis, A., and Watson-Parris

Short summary
We studied the monthly-scale climate response to COVID-19 aerosol emission reductions during January–May 2020 using climate models. Our results show global temperature and rainfall anomalies driven by circulation changes. The climate patterns reverse polarity from JF to MAM due to a shift in the main SO2 reduction region from China to India. This real-life example of rapid climate adjustments to abrupt, regional aerosol emission reduction has large implications for future climate projections.
Final-revised paper