Research report 2022 - Max Planck Institute for Chemistry

Cleaner air as a result of coronavirus lockdown

Krüger, Ovid O.; Holanda, Bruna; Chowdhury, Sourangsu; Pozzer, Andrea; Walter, David Walter; Pöhlker, Christopher; Andrés Hernández, Maria Dolores; Burrows, John P.; Voigt, Christiane; Lelieveld, Jos; Quaas, Johannes; Pöschl, Ulrich; Pöhlker, Mira L.
Abteilung Multiphasenchemie, Max-Planck-Institut für Chemie, Mainz
During the first lockdown of the coronavirus pandemic, soot concentrations in the atmosphere over Western and Southern Europe almost halved. This is apparent from our comparison of two measurement campaigns carried out by the German research aircraft HALO in 2017 and 2020. Our study shows that approximately 40 percent of the reduction is due to decreased anthropogenic emissions. These findings reflect the major impact of human activity on air quality and the significance of soot as an important air pollutant and climate driver in the Anthropocene.

For the full text, see the German version.

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