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Quels effets du confinement sur la qualité de l’air : retour sur le printemps 2020

Abstract : This article presents an analysis of the impact on air quality of lockdown measures implemented throughout Europe for nearly two months in spring 2020 to combat the Covid-19 health crisis. These measures have resulted in a drastic and unprecedented reduction in nitrogen dioxide emissions, mainly emitted by road traffic. Several European teams have conducted studies with the same objective, but with possibly different methods. Here, we applied two approaches based on the implementation of the CHIMERE chemistry-transport model to France and to Europe. One is based on the use of air quality simulations in which measurement data from in-situ monitoring networks are adjusted to correspond closely to observations. The other interprets emission reduction scenarios typical of lockdown measures. The advantages and disadvantages of each are discussed. However, they lead to conclusions that are consistent with each other, and with most of the studies identified on the subject: lockdown naturally decreased nitrogen dioxide concentrations by up to 60% in all large European cities. These studies make it possible to set an upper limit of these levels which will be difficult to lower. On the other hand, the levels of particulate matter, which is influenced by sources other than road traffic and by complex physicochemical phenomena, decreased less and followed a different curve, as the lockdown effect was felt a few days later. These results provide essential insights for decision-makers designing public policies for air quality.
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Submitted on : Friday, July 30, 2021 - 4:41:55 PM
Last modification on : Saturday, July 31, 2021 - 3:12:47 AM

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Laurence Rouïl, Augustin Colette. Quels effets du confinement sur la qualité de l’air : retour sur le printemps 2020. Environnement, Risques and Santé, John Libbey Eurotext, 2021, 20 (3), pp.308-316. ⟨10.1684/ers.2021.1561⟩. ⟨ineris-03310889⟩

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