Even during pandemic lockdown, air quality remained poor in parts of China

The viral before-and-after images of improved air quality around the world resulting from the COVID-19 lockdown may not paint an entirely accurate picture, at least not in China. According to a new study published on June 17 in the journal Science, although there was a dramatic reduction in pollution emission during the lockdown that far outstripped the “Olympic Blue” efforts the nation used to temporarily combat air pollution ahead of the Beijing Olympics, other factors involving complex atmospheric chemistry and meteorological variations have offset the influence of emission reduction. This has led to a counterintuitive deterioration in air quality in Beijing and other cities in northern China during the COVID-19 lockdown.

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