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© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  13 Jul 2020

13 Jul 2020

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A revised version of this preprint is currently under review for the journal ACP.

An assessment of the impact of a nation-wide lockdown on air pollution – a remote sensing perspective over India

Mahesh Pathakoti1, Aarathi Muppalla2, Sayan Hazra3, Mahalakshmi Dangeti1, Raja Shekhar2, Srinivasulu Jella1, Sesha Sai Mullapudi1, Prasad Andugulapati2, and Uma Vijayasundaram3 Mahesh Pathakoti et al.
  • 1Analytics and Modelling Division; Land and Atmospheric Physics Division; Earth and Climate Sciences Area, National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC), Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), Hyderabad-500037, India
  • 2Bhuvan Project Management and Software Evaluation Division, Bhuvan Geoportal and Data Dissemination Area, NRSC, ISRO, Hyderabad-500037, India
  • 3Department of Computer Science, School of Engineering & Technology, Pondicherry University, Chinna Kalapet, Kalapet, Puducherry-605014, India

Abstract. The nation-wide lockdown imposed over India from 25th March 2020 onwards, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, placed severe restrictions upon the industrial and transport sectors, which together form a significant chunk of anthropogenic emissions of pollutants into the atmosphere. Atmospheric concentrations of Nitrogen dioxide (NO2), carbon monoxide (CO) and aerosol optical depth (AOD) for lockdown and pre-lockdown periods were investigated with observations from Aura/OMI, Terra/MOPITT, Sentinel-5p/TROPOMI and Aqua-Terra/MODIS satellite sensors. Mean NO2 levels over India during the lockdown period showed a dip of 17 % as compared to pre-lockdown period and a decrease of 18 % against the 5-year average. Over New Delhi in particular, there was a sharp decrease of 62 % in NO2 levels as compared to 2019 and a decline by 54 % relative to the preceding 5-year period (2015–2019). Aerosol levels reduced over the country by ~ 24 % from the 5-year mean levels, with a marked reduction over the Indo-Gangetic plains region. An increase in CO levels was noticeable, probably due to its longer life-time as compared to NO2 and aerosols. This study also reports the rate of change of NO2, CO and AOD, indicating increase/decrease in pollutant emissions over the different states of India.

Mahesh Pathakoti et al.

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Mahesh Pathakoti et al.

Mahesh Pathakoti et al.


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Latest update: 21 Oct 2020
Publications Copernicus
Short summary
Present work carried out analysis of Air pollution over the Indian region in connection with nation's lockdown due to outbreak of COVID-19. We studied air pollutants namely NO2, CO and AOD using the remote sensing data. During the exhaustive 40 days of lock down in India, we observed significant reduction in air pollutants during lock down period compared to no lock down period. This study further shows the effect of lock down on short-term climatological variability of these pollutants.
Present work carried out analysis of Air pollution over the Indian region in connection with...