Special Issue on Air Quality in a Changed World: Regional, Ambient, and Indoor Air Concentrations from the COVID to Post-COVID Era (VII)

Maja Ivanovski This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.1,2, Petra Dolšak Lavrič3,4, Rudi Vončina1, Darko Goričanec2, Danijela Urbancl2 

1 Department for Environment, Milan Vidmar Electric Power Research Institute, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
2 Faculty of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, University of Maribor, 2000 Maribor, Slovenia
3 Environment and Nature conservation Office, Slovenian Environment Agency, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
4 Faculty of Civil and Geodetic Engineering, University of Ljubljana, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia


Received: September 30, 2021
Revised: July 9, 2022
Accepted: July 10, 2022

 Copyright The Author(s). This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are cited.


Download Citation: ||https://doi.org/10.4209/aaqr.210262  


Cite this article:

Ivanovski, M., Lavrič, P.D., Vončina, R., Goričanec, D., Urbancl, D. (2022). Improvement of Air Quality during the COVID-19 Lockdowns in the Republic of Slovenia and its Connection with Meteorology. Aerosol Air Qual. Res. 22, 210262. https://doi.org/10.4209/aaqr.210262


HIGHLIGHTS

  • Effects of COVID-19 lockdown measures on PM concentrations in RS were analyzed.
  • 4 periods were studied: before, during first lockdown, after, during second lockdown.
  • Restrictions have a moderate impact on the improvement of air quality during COVID.
  • Effects of meteorology parameters on PM concentrations are recognized as well.
 

ABSTRACT


Due to COVID-19 countermeasures, air quality temporarily improved in several countries around the world, especially in urban areas. This study investigates predominantly the changes in concentration levels of air pollutants (PM10 and PM2.5) in the Republic of Slovenia during the year 2020, which was marked by COVID-19 lockdowns. In this study, the data for the year 2020 were divided into four periods, i.e., the period before COVID-19 (1 January–11 March 2020), the first lockdown (12 March–31 May 2020), after the first lockdown (1 June–17 October 2020), and the second lockdown (18 October–31 December 2020). The data were obtained from 25 ground-based nationwide stations, subdivided further by traffic and background sites. For comparison, data from 2018 and 2019 were evaluated as well. Our findings indicate that COVID-19 restrictions had a moderate and indirect impact on PM10 and PM2.5 concentrations, which were more evident at PM10 monitoring sites near traffic locations. The results were additionally supported by providing t- and F- statistical tests. The impact of meteorological conditions (wind speed, temperature, relative humidity, and precipitation) on the concentration levels was also studied. The results show that, the most significant decrease of PM concentration in 2020 compared to 2018 and 2019 was found in the period after the first lockdown, while precipitation was not significantly different between the years during this time.


Keywords: COVID-19 pandemic, Air pollution, PM2.5, PM10, Meteorology




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