Time series comparison of pre- and post-lockdown for German cities

In general all graphs show that the mean NO2 concentration after the lockdown date has decreased – at some stations the effect is larger than at others. Concentration peaks with similar amplitudes, compared to before the lockdown, persist. The overall patterns would require a more detailed analysis of the locations e.g. considering mobility behaviour.

  • Berlin
  • Dresden
  • Hamburg
  • Suttgart

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Municipalities at the Forefront of Air Quality: Interview with Karim Tarraf, CEO of Hawa Dawa

In the days of Covid-19, air quality is a topic in the media, too. Municipalities are often pioneers in pushing for improvements. Decisions must be made in complex social contexts and measures must be integrated into larger plans.
Here’s an interview with Karim Tarraf, CEO of Hawa Dawa, in which he comments on the following topics:
  • How can the increasing importance of air quality data be explained?
  • Why are the available measurements and data usually insufficient?
  • What does cooperation with cities look like?

(The complete interview is available in German only)

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Time series comparison of pre- and post-lockdown for sample cities show that the lockdown impact on NO2 concentrations varies

Cities worldwide have been imposing lockdowns due to coronavirus, leading to traffic reductions and related to that, less NO2 pollution. The strength of the effect is not the same everywhere, being dependent on a number of variables, such as pollution levels and amount of traffic before the lockdown at the particular location, fleet composition, weather conditions and topography and urban architecture. Furthermore, the measures defining the “lockdown” were not the same everywhere and were also implemented with different levels of rigour. Without analyzing in-depth the factors at play at different places across the world, here just a few examples of what the change in NO2 pollution looked like in a few cities:

  • Wuhan
  • Paris
  • London
  • Fresno
  • Dehli
  • Boston

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NO2 concentrations during the lockdown in Munich

I have recently heard people uttering disappointment regarding the rather small effect they have observed at official measurement stations in Munich during the time of the lockdown due to the coronavirus. Looking at the raw hourly measurement traces at different locations in and around Munich, we can see a very clear drop during the initial phase of the lockdown, with concentrations coming up again after that. So we decided to take a deeper look. We considered impacts from weather conditions, season-specific influences as well as mobility behaviour. Read more

See the full picture: There is less net of the improvement in air quality through measures to curb the Covid-19 virus

Although measures to curb the Corona virus have (almost) brought many polluters to a standstill, the effects on the trends from measurements are not as obviously visible as some may have expected. In an interview with the Süddeutsche Zeitung, Dr. Birgit Fullerton, Head of Data Sience of Hawa Dawa, mentions possible reasons why the effects of the lock-down are not more clearly and sustainably recognizable in the air pollutant concentration in the area of Munich Airport (Süddeutsche Zeitung “At the airport you can hear the sparrows chirping”). Read more

Do Air Pollution Levels Influence COVID-19 Mortality Risk?

Während die Welt ihre volle Aufmerksamkeit auf den aktuellen Ausbruch des Coronavirus gerichtet hat, scheinen andere Themen, über die wir uns bezüglich unserer Gesundheit sorgen, derzeit für viele von uns fast irrelevant zu sein. Es gibt jedoch einen Faktor, der nicht ignoriert werden sollte- möglicherweise nicht einmal bei der Betrachtung der Überlebensraten von COVID-19: Luftverschmutzung. Es ist zwar noch zu früh, um die Faktoren, die die Überlebensraten von COVID-19 in verschiedenen Regionen der Welt beeinflussen, eindeutig zu bewerten, doch gibt es eine Vielzahl an Hinweisen, die die Hypothese fördern, dass die Luftverschmutzung eine bedeutende Rolle spielen könnte. Read more

A Reduction of NO2 Reported by Satellites Does Not Automatically Mean Healthier Air

This post is only available in German

Italian Scientists Discover a Correlation between Air Pollution (Particulate Matter) and the Rapid Spread of the Corona Virus in Northern Italy

This post is available in German only

What we should learn for air quality from measures to curb the Corona virus

In his article published in Ends Europe, Richard Weyndling cites European experts as well as health and environmental activists who agree that the impact of Covid-19 restrictions on air quality in Europe demonstrates the case for tougher action on pollution. Greenpeace Spain yesterday published data showing that NO2 levels in Barcelona and Madrid have fallen significantly since restrictions on movement were put in place on 15 March. The average NO2 level from monitoring stations across Madrid, for example, fell from over 60 µg/m3 on 10 March to 15 µm/m3 a week later. Read more

Sustainability Goes beyond Green Tech

In her article in “Wirtschaft & Ethik” Dr.-Ing. Heba Aguib, Chief Executive RESPOND Accelerator, BMW Foundation Herbert Quandt, shares her thoughts on the compatibility of sustainabilty and economy. She refers to the seventeen sustainabilty objectives agreed on in the Agenda 2030 by the United Nations: Read more