EGU21-12942, updated on 04 Mar 2021
EGU General Assembly 2021
© Author(s) 2021. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Covid-19-related air composition changes over China based on TROPOMI and IASI observations, in situ data and model simulations 

Trissevgeni Stavrakou1, Jean-François Müller1, Maite Bauwens1, Thierno Doumbia2, Nellie Elguindi2, Sabine Darras2, Claire Granier Claire Granier3,4, Yiming Liu Yiming Liu5, Xiaoqin Shi6, Idir Bouarar6, Guy Brasseur6, Tao Wang5, Henk Eskes7, Isabelle De Smedt1, Lieven Clarisse8, Pierre François Coheur8, and Bruno Franco8
Trissevgeni Stavrakou et al.
  • 1Royal Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy, Brussels, Belgium (
  • 2Observatoire Midi-Pyrénées, Toulouse, France
  • 3Laboratoire d’Aérologie, CNRS, Université de Toulouse, France
  • 4NOAA/ESRL/CSD‐ CIRES/University of Colorado, Boulder, CO, USA
  • 5Hong Kong Polytechnic University
  • 6Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, Hamburg, Germany
  • 7Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI), Netherlands
  • 8Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB), Spectroscopy, Quantum Chemistry and Atmospheric Remote Sensing (SQUARES), Brussels, Belgium

The worldwide spread of Covid-19 pandemic caused a dramatic cutback of human activities and triggered a large-scale atmospheric composition experiment. This unfortunate situation provides the opportunity to investigate the response of atmospheric composition to the shutdown measures. Our focus will be on China, where the pandemic emerged in January 2020, and thence strict lockdowns were enforced. Substantial, large-scale decreases in pollutants levels over China and subsequent recovery were revealed by spaceborne observations from TROPOMI instrument on board Sentinel-5 Precursor, as well as by in situ measurements. Most published work on this topic relied on observed changes in column abundances of nitrogen dioxide (NO2), a predominantly anthropogenic compound and an important precursor for ozone production and secondary aerosol formation. Our work adds to this picture by studing the evolution of two other satellite-derived compounds, formaldehyde (HCHO) and peroxyacylnitrate (PAN), observed by TROPOMI and IASI, respectively. HCHO is an intermediate product in the chemical processing of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) of anthropogenic and natural origin. PAN is formed in the oxidation of anthropogenic and biogenic VOCs, and constitute the principal tropospheric NOx reservoir, enabling the transport and release of NOx away from the sources. Chemistry-transport simulations of PAN are challenging due to large uncertainties in formation mechanisms and precursor emissions. We will evaluate and analyze the observed variability of NO2, HCHO, and PAN columns using model simulations with the MAGRITTE v1.1 regional CTM run at 0.5ox0.5o resolution over China for 2019 and 2020. The model uses updated anthropogenic emissions from the CONFORM dataset, which takes into account the reductions during the shutdowns based on traffic and other economic activity data. 

How to cite: Stavrakou, T., Müller, J.-F., Bauwens, M., Doumbia, T., Elguindi, N., Darras, S., Claire Granier, C. G., Yiming Liu, Y. L., Shi, X., Bouarar, I., Brasseur, G., Wang, T., Eskes, H., De Smedt, I., Clarisse, L., Coheur, P. F., and Franco, B.: Covid-19-related air composition changes over China based on TROPOMI and IASI observations, in situ data and model simulations , EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-12942,, 2021.

Corresponding presentation materials formerly uploaded have been withdrawn.