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Urban Clim ; 36: 100791, 2021 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1062626


The enforced lockdown amid COVID-19 pandemic eased anthropogenic activities across India. The satellite-derived aerosol optical depth (AOD) and absorption AOD showed a significant reduction of ~30% over the Indo-Gangetic Basin (IGB) in north India during the lockdown period in 2020 with respect to the previous year 2019, when no such lockdown was in effect. Further, near-surface air pollutants were investigated at an urban megacity Delhi during 01 March to 31 May 2020. Except O3, a drastic reduction in PM10, PM2.5, NO, NO2 and CO concentrations were observed by ~58%, 47%, 76%, 68% and 58%, respectively during the lockdown period of 2020 as compared to 2019. While, O3 was low in the initial phase and gradually increased with progression of lockdown phases, the mean O3 during the entire lockdown period was nearly similar in both the years. Though, all the measured pollutants showed significant reduction during the entire lockdown, a phase-wise enhancement, associated with the conditional relaxations was observed in their concentrations. Thus, the present results may help, not only to assess the impact of outbreak on air quality, but also in designing the mitigation policies in urban megacities in more efficient ways to combat the air pollution problems.