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

Citation metadata

From: Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics(Vol. 22, Issue 13)
Publisher: Copernicus GmbH
Document Type: Brief article
Length: 230 words

Document controls

Main content

Abstract :

The abrupt reduction in human activities during the first lockdown of the COVID-19 pandemic created unprecedented atmospheric conditions. To quantify the changes in lower tropospheric air pollution, we conducted the BLUESKY aircraft campaign and measured vertical profiles of black carbon (BC) aerosol particles over western and southern Europe in May and June 2020. We compared the results to similar measurements of the EMeRGe EU campaign performed in July 2017 and found that the BC mass concentrations (M.sub.BC) were reduced by about 48 %. For BC particle number concentrations, we found comparable reductions. Based on ECHAM/MESSy Atmospheric Chemistry (EMAC) chemistry-transport model simulations, we found differences in meteorological conditions and flight patterns responsible for about 7 % of the M.sub.BC reductions. Accordingly 41 % of M.sub.BC reductions can be attributed to reduced anthropogenic emissions. Our results reflect the strong and immediate positive effect of changes in human activities on air quality and the atmospheric role of BC aerosols as a major air pollutant in the Anthropocene.

Source Citation

Source Citation   

Gale Document Number: GALE|A709382331