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First lockdown's effect on air pollution was overstated, our study reveals

By Zongbo Shi, Professor of Atmospheric Biogeochemistry, University of Birmingham
William Bloss, Professor of Atmospheric Science, University of Birmingham
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The pandemic caused governments around the world to introduce lockdowns in early 2020, temporarily closing workplaces and emptying roads and public spaces. As economic activity slowed, so did emissions of air pollutants. Almost a year later, the effect that all this had on the air we breathe is becoming clear.

The most straightforward way to determine the effects of lockdown on air quality is to compare measurements before and after the date that the lockdown began.…


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