Hawa Dawa Blog
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.
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 principle, when studying cause-and-effect relationships in the field of air quality, comprehensive interactions between the pollutants, their sensitivity to other environmental influences (e.g. weather, temperature, wind) as well as eco-sociological influences must always be taken into account.
While the world has focused its full attention on the current coronavirus outbreak, other issues we were concerned about regarding our health might currently seem almost irrelevant to many of us. However, there is one factor that shouldn’t be ignored – potentially not even when looking at survival rates of COVID-19: air pollution.
Satellites cannot replace ground-based measurements.
This post is only available in German
This post is available in German only
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. Among others, Zoltan Massay-Kosubek from the European Health Authority is quoted: “Although stopping most transports from one day to the next is not an appropriate way to reduce pollution, we must avoid, returning to the same pre-crisis levels of pollution once the epidemic has ended.”
Are sustainability and economy compatible? Dr.-Ing. Heba Aguib shares her thoughts with reference to the Agenda 2030 of the United Nations, where seventeen sustainability objectives have been defined.
In their study, which has been published in Science Direct, Nihan Celikkaya, Matthew Fullerton (Hawa Dawa) and Birgit Fullerton (Hawa Dawa), the focus was to see overall trends and sensor reactions to the changes in background air pollutant concentrations, wind speeds and traffic volumes:
Comprehensive information on air quality is very important for development and assessment of air pollution reduction measures, especially for urban areas facing these problems. Such information is useful not only for monitoring of air quality levels but also for validation of air quality modelling tools.