Tropospheric NO2 and O3 Response to COVID-19 Lockdown Restrictions at the National and Urban Scales in Germany

Vigneshkumar Balamurugan, Jia Chen, Zhen Qu, Xiao Bi, Johannes Gensheimer, Ankit Shekhar, Shrutilipi Bhattacharjee, Frank N. Keutsch

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14 Scopus citations


This study estimates the influence of anthropogenic emission reductions on nitrogen dioxide ((Formula presented.)) and ozone ((Formula presented.)) concentration changes in Germany during the COVID-19 pandemic period using in-situ surface and Sentinel-5 Precursor TROPOspheric Monitoring Instrument (TROPOMI) satellite column measurements and GEOS-Chem model simulations. We show that reductions in anthropogenic emissions in eight German metropolitan areas reduced mean in-situ (& column) (Formula presented.) concentrations by 23 (Formula presented.) (& 16 (Formula presented.)) between March 21 and June 30, 2020 after accounting for meteorology, whereas the corresponding mean in-situ (Formula presented.) concentration increased by 4 (Formula presented.) between March 21 and May 31, 2020, and decreased by 3 (Formula presented.) in June 2020, compared to 2019. In the winter and spring, the degree of (Formula presented.) saturation of ozone production is stronger than in the summer. This implies that future reductions in (Formula presented.) emissions in these metropolitan areas are likely to increase ozone pollution during winter and spring if appropriate mitigation measures are not implemented. TROPOMI (Formula presented.) concentrations decreased nationwide during the stricter lockdown period after accounting for meteorology with the exception of North-West Germany which can be attributed to enhanced (Formula presented.) emissions from agricultural soils.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2021JD035440
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres
Issue number19
StatePublished - 16 Oct 2021


  • COVID-19
  • GEOS-Chem
  • NO-saturated
  • emission reduction
  • nitrogen oxide
  • ozone


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