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Science of The Total Environment ; : 146918, 2021.
Article in English | ScienceDirect | ID: covidwho-1164461


The Indo Gangetic Plain (IGP), one of the most densely populated regions of the world, is a global hotspot of anthropogenic aerosol emissions. In the pre-monsoon season (March-May), the strong westerlies carry transported dust aerosols along with anthropogenic aerosols onto the Bay of Bengal (BoB). The outflow from IGP modulates the aerosol loading and the aerosol direct radiative forcing (ADRF) over the BoB. The quantification of the anthropogenic aerosol impact on the radiative forcing over the outflow region remains inadequate. The enforced shutdown amid the COVID-19 pandemic eased the anthropogenic activities across the country, which helped to examine the magnitude and variability of aerosol loading and subsequent changes in ADRF over IGP and the outflow region of the BoB. Wind trajectory analysis illustrates that the ADRF over the BoB is greater during the days when the winds originated from the IGP region (at the surface -54.2±6.4 W m-2, at the top of the atmosphere, -26.9±3.4 W m-2 and on the atmosphere, 27.0±3.1 W m-2 ) compared to the seasonal average (-46.3±7.1 W m-2, -24.9±4.0 W m-2 and 20.6±3.2 W m-2, respectively). This indicates that anthropogenic aerosols emission in IGP can contribute an additional 31% of the atmospheric ADRF over the IGP outflow region of the BoB. The reduced aerosol loading during the shutdown period resulted in a reduction of ADRF at the surface, at the top of the atmosphere, and on the atmosphere over the IGP outflow region of the BoB by 22.0±3.1%, 20.9±3.4% and 23.2±3.3%, respectively. This resultant 20-25% reduction in ADRF over the IGP outflow region of BOB matches well with 10-25% reduction in aerosol optical depth (AOD) over the IGP during the shutdown period showing a robust coupling between IGP aerosol emissions and ADRF over the BoB.

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.