Posted: 2021-10-04 19:00:00
Air Qual Atmos Health . 2021 Sep 28;1-14. doi: 10.1007/s11869-021-01098-4. Online ahead of print. Affiliations Expand Affiliation 1 Centre for Climate and Air Pollution Studies (C-CAPS), School of Physics, National University of Ireland Galway, University Road, Galway, Ireland. Item in Clipboard Teresa K Spohn et al. Air Qual Atmos Health. 2021. Show details Display options Display options Format Air Qual Atmos Health . 2021 Sep 28;1-14. doi: 10.1007/s11869-021-01098-4. Online ahead of print. Affiliation 1 Centre for Climate and Air Pollution Studies (C-CAPS), School of Physics, National University of Ireland Galway, University Road, Galway, Ireland. Item in Clipboard CiteDisplay options Display options Format Abstract This study examines the regional impact of the COVID-19 lockdown restrictions on pollution in Ireland by comparing the 2020 measurements of ozone (O3), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), and particulate matter (PM) from monitoring stations around the country to the previous 3-year average. Results indicate that O3 was 5.6% lower and 13.7% higher than previous years during the lockdown at rural and suburban sites, respectively. NO2 decreased by 50.7% in urban areas, but increased slightly in agricultural regions, consistent with satellite observations. PM concentrations did not change significantly compared to previous years; however, a reduction in the signal variability in the smaller size particle measurements may be the result of different emission sources. The reduction in NO2 likely increased the ratio of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) to NOx (nitrogen oxides), creating a NOx limited environment, which resulted in an initial increase in O3 in suburban areas, and the lower than usual levels observed at rural sites. Meteorology showed higher than average wind speeds prior to lockdown, which likely acted to disperse PM and NO2. Keywords: COVID-19 restrictions; Ireland; Regional pollution. © The Author(s) 2021. Conflict of interest statement Conflict of interestThe authors declare no competing interests.
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