Air pollution declines in Spain after implementation of measures to fight COVID-19

Credit rating: Universitat Politècnica de València

The concentration amounts of nitrogen dioxide, a main air contaminant, have declined 64% in significant Spanish cities immediately after the implementation of measures to struggle COVID-19. Ranges have fallen most in Barcelona, with an 83% decrease. In Madrid, amounts have dropped 73% and 64% in València.

These are some of the benefits of a research carried out by scientists from the Universitat Politècnica de València (UPV), belonging to the Centro de Tecnologías Físicas (Physical Technological innovation Centre). To carry out this analyze, the UPV crew analyzed satellite photographs of the Sentinel-5P mission of the Copernicus system of the European Space Company (ESA), comparing knowledge from March 10-14 versus info from March 15-20. Primarily based on this knowledge, they created a series of maps that exhibit the concentrations of nitrogen dioxide in key Spanish cities.

According to Elena Sánchez-García, researcher at the Land and Atmosphere Distant Sensing (LARS-UPV) team of the UPV’s Centro de Tecnologías Físicas, nitrogen dioxide is an essential indicator of air excellent. “High concentrations of nitrogen can have an impact on the respiratory technique and worsen particular health-related circumstances. In addition, this gasoline is related to the development of acid rain,” she explained.

Nitrogen oxides like NO2 in the city atmosphere originate from combustion reactions at higher temperatures that are generally generated from motorized vehicles. Oxygen and nitrogen are mixed to make nitric oxide (NO), which is later partially oxidized, creating nitrogen dioxide.

“As has been verified in the case of Wuhan (China), and northern Italy, our analyze shows how the confinement actions and reduction of financial exercise have translated into a crystal clear reduce in air air pollution all through the place,” reported Elena Sánchez-García.

Added Facts

In addition to València, Madrid and Barcelona, the review also took details from 7 other metropolitan areas. In the Autonomous Group of Valencia, nitrogen dioxide concentrations have dropped most in Castellón, with a 76% decline. Of the metropolitan areas analyzed, it experienced the 2nd-biggest reduction, behind only Barcelona. In Alicante, the decline was 68%. Even though atmospheric variability (winds and precipitation) can have an effect on the numbers calculated for every single town, the outcome of the current condition of confinement is predominant. Of the other metropolitan areas analyzed, in Bilbao, the contamination from one particular period to the other dropped 66% in Gijón, 65% in Málaga, 55% in Zaragoza, 52% and in Sevilla, 36%.

The review is framed in just the study carried out by the LARS-UPV group of the UPV, which showcased the participation of Elena Sánchez García, Itziar Irakulis Loitxate and Luis Guanter. Their perform is targeted on the advancement of remote detection methods for globally monitoring the emissions of gases into the ambiance.

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