Evaluating the impact of COVID-19 regulations on air pollutant levels in New York City over time. We wanted to see how human and airport traffic impact levels of pollutants in the atmosphere of NYC and LA County.
Used GIOVANNI and ArcGIS to get data from December 2019 - April 2020 to create daily time series and monthly maps for levels of NO2 and AOD.
We saw a clear reduction of NO2 levels across time with increased COVID-19 restrictions beginning in March.
To our surprise we didn't see a clear reduction of AOD levels across time with COVID-19 restrictions.
We speculate this is due to AOD having a lack of variability based on pollution until a threshold is reached.
Studies did find that AOD doesn't see much seasonal variation except for a peak in spring. Recent literature reveals this is likely due to dust particles from the high volume of pollen.