Articles written in Journal of Earth System Science

    • COVID-19 lockdown induced air pollution reduction over India: A lesson for future air pollution mitigation strategies


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      Air pollution is one of the biggest problems worldwide and needs to be addressed potentially with the implementation of updated stringent policies and legislative laws. The nationwide lockdown imposed to prevent the COVID-19 outbreak, has given us a unique opportunity to understand the contribution of anthropogenic emissions to the total atmospheric pollutant burden on a global as well as regional scale. Thus, in the present study, we try to investigate the impact of COVID-19 induced lockdown on common ambient air pollutants (i.e., PM$_{2.5}$, NO$_2$, and SO$_2$) concentration over 22 cities in India using in-situ measurement under a network of Centre Pollution and Control Board (CPCB). A significant reduction in the mean mass concentration of all the studied air pollutants (i.e., PM$_{2.5}$, NO$_2$, and SO$_2$) (nearly 10–70%) is found during different phases of lockdown which reached within the National Ambient Air Quality Standard (i.e., NAAQS). The reduction in studied air pollutants is more prominent during the first phase of lockdown (mainly NO$_2$) which could be due to the complete shutdown of industrial activities. The outcome of the present study will be helpful for policymakers to design cost-effective and accurate air pollution mitigation strategies for the development of a sustainable environment. The study also suggests that well-planned short-term and periodical lockdown could be an alternative effective tool of air pollution mitigation.

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