Importance of Meteorology and Chemistry in Determining Air Pollutant Levels During COVID-19 Lockdown in Indian Cities

08 February 2021, Version 1
This content is a preprint and has not undergone peer review at the time of posting.


To accurately quantify impact of short-term interventions (such as COVID-19 lockdown) on air pollutant levels, meteorology and atmospheric chemistry need to be considered in addition to emission changes. We demonstrate that regional sources have a significant influence on PM2.5 levels in Delhi and Hyderabad due to the small reduction calculated post-lockdown after weather-normalization, indicating that future PM2.5 mitigation strategies should focus on national-scale, as well as local sources. Furthermore, we demonstrate with field measurements that ozone production in Delhi is likely volatile organic compound (VOC)-limited, in agreement with previous modelling predictions, indicating that ozone mitigation should focus on dominant VOC sources. This work highlights the complexity in developing mitigation strategies for air pollution due to its non-linear relationships with emissions, chemistry and meteorology.


air quality


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