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COVID-19 driven changes in the air quality; a study of major cities in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh

Kumar, D and Singh, AK and Kumar, V and Poyoja, R and Ghosh, A and Singh, B (2021) COVID-19 driven changes in the air quality; a study of major cities in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. In: Environmental Pollution, 274 .

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2021.116512


Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been an unprecedented cessation of outdoor anthropogenic activities leading to a significant improvement of the environment across the world. However, the positive impacts on the environment are not expected to last long as countries have started to gradually come out of lockdown and engage in aggressive measures to regain the pre-COVID-19 levels of economic activity. The present study provides for an assessment of air quality changes during the period of lockdown and unlocking across 9 major cities in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, including three cities (Ghaziabad, Noida, and Greater Noida) in the national capital region, which have frequently been included among the most polluted cities in the world. The pollutant load in a vertical column of air during March–July 2020 has been analyzed and compared with the corresponding period's pollution load in 2019. In addition, a detailed analysis of the ground-level changes in pollution load for Ghaziabad, Noida, and Greater Noida is also presented, along with the changes in local meteorology. A significant reduction in the total column density of NO2, CO and ground-level pollution load of PM10, PM2.5, NO2, and SO2 have been observed. In contrast, an increase in total column density of SO2 across all the cities (except Kanpur) and ground-level concentration of CO (in Noida and Greater Noida) and O3 (in Noida) was evident. The improvement in air quality (with respect to particulate matter) can primarily be attributed to the restrictions on construction and demolition activities, reduced re-suspension of roadside dust, and the restrictions on the movement of vehicles. A significant decline in the average summer temperature was recorded, and it can plausibly be attributed to lower radiative forcing due to reduced pollutant load in the atmosphere.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publication: Environmental Pollution
Publisher: Elsevier Ltd
Additional Information: The copyright for this article belongs to the Author.
Keywords: Air quality index; Criteria pollutant; Meteorology; National capital region; Particulate matter; Source apportionment
Department/Centre: Division of Interdisciplinary Sciences > Centre for Nano Science and Engineering
Date Deposited: 31 Jul 2023 13:16
Last Modified: 31 Jul 2023 13:16
URI: https://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/82708

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