Reduction of Air Pollution in Poland in Spring 2020 during the Lockdown Caused by the COVID-19 Pandemic


Grzybowski, P.T., Markowicz K.M., Musial J.P.


The COVID-19 pandemic has affected many aspects of human well-being including air quality. The present study aims at quantifying this effect by means of ground-level concentrations of NO2, PM2.5, as well as aerosol optical depth (AOD) measurements and tropospheric NO2 column number density (NO2 TVCD), during the imposed governmental restrictions in spring 2020. The analyses were performed for both urban and non-built-up areas across the whole of Poland accompanied by Warsaw (urban site) and Strzyzow (a background site). The results revealed that mean PM2.5 concentrations in spring 2020 for urban and non-built-up areas across Poland and for Warsaw were 20%, 23%, 15% lower than the 10-year average, respectively. Analogous mean NO2 concentrations were lower by 20%, 18%, 30% and NO2 TVCD revealed 9%, 4%, 9% reductions in 2020 as compared to 2019. Regarding mean AOD, retrieved from MERRA-2 reanalysis, it was found that for the whole of Poland during spring 2020 the reduction in AOD as compared to the 10-year average was 15%. The contribution of the lockdown within total air pollution reduction is not easily assessable due to anomalous weather conditions in 2020 which resulted in advection of clean air masses identified from MERRA-2 reanalysis and Strzyzow observatory.

Remote Sensing, 2021, vol. 13(18), art. 3784, doi: 10.3390/rs13183784

Originally published on - Sept. 22, 2021, 9:10 a.m.
Last update on - Sept. 22, 2021, 12:12 p.m.
Publisher - Sekretariat IGF