Impact of Coronavirus Outbreak on NO2 Pollution Assessed Using TROPOMI and OMI Observations

M. Bauwens, S. Compernolle, T. Stavrakou*, J. F. Müller, J. van Gent, H. Eskes, P. F. Levelt, R. van der A, J. P. Veefkind, More Authors

*Corresponding author for this work

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Spaceborne NO2 column observations from two high-resolution instruments, Tropospheric Monitoring Instrument (TROPOMI) on board Sentinel-5 Precursor and Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) on Aura, reveal unprecedented NO2 decreases over China, South Korea, western Europe, and the United States as a result of public health measures enforced to contain the coronavirus disease outbreak (Covid-19) in January–April 2020. The average NO2 column drop over all Chinese cities amounts to −40% relative to the same period in 2019 and reaches up to a factor of ~2 at heavily hit cities, for example, Wuhan, Jinan, while the decreases in western Europe and the United States are also significant (−20% to −38%). In contrast with this, although Iran is also strongly affected by the disease, the observations do not show evidence of lower emissions, reflecting more limited health measures.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2020GL087978
Number of pages9
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • air quality
  • coronavirus outbreak
  • emissions
  • lockdown
  • satellite NO


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