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      Noise measurements as a proxy to evaluating the response to recommendations in times of crisis: An update analysis of the transition to the second wave of the CoViD-19 pandemic in Central Stockholm, Swedena)

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          Sweden stands out among the other European countries by the degree of restrictive measures taken towards handling the 2019 coronavirus outbreak, associated with the CoViD-19 pandemic. While several governments have imposed a nationwide total or partial lockdown to slow down the spread of the virus, the Swedish government has opted for a recommendation-based approach together with a few imposed restrictions. In a previous contribution by the authors, the impact of the Swedish strategy was observed through the monitored variation of the city noise levels during a period associated with the so-called “first wave” of the pandemic in Stockholm. A very strong impact of these recommendations was shown on the evolution of the noise levels in central Stockholm. This highlighted the potential of acoustic sensor networks both for enforcement of regulation and monitoring of the effectiveness of their implementation. The present contribution presents a follow-up to this urban noise monitoring in central Stockholm, Sweden, for the period leading to the so-called “second wave” of the pandemic in Europe. Both the evolution of adherence to the recommendations and the impact of the recurrence of cases combined with reinforced recommendations are observed through the evolution of the measured noise levels. While the measurements show a gradual lower level of compliance, in particular, past the summer break, these also show again a rapid response to the reinforced recommendations issued by the authorities in mid-fall of 2020. These observations thus confirm the potential associated with detailed urban noise monitoring, for instance here acting as a proxy to evaluating the response to recommendations or restrictions in times of crisis.

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          Most cited references 14

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          Indirect effects of COVID-19 on the environment

          This research aims to show the positive and negative indirect effects of COVID-19 on the environment, particularly in the most affected countries such as China, USA, Italy, and Spain. Our research shows that there is a significant association between contingency measures and improvement in air quality, clean beaches and environmental noise reduction. On the other hand, there are also negative secondary aspects such as the reduction in recycling and the increase in waste, further endangering the contamination of physical spaces (water and land), in addition to air. Global economic activity is expected to return in the coming months in most countries (even if slowly), so decreasing GHG concentrations during a short period is not a sustainable way to clean up our environment.
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            Changes in air quality during the lockdown in Barcelona (Spain) one month into the SARS-CoV-2 epidemic

            Lockdown measures came into force in Spain from March 14th, two weeks after the start of the SARS-CoV-2 epidemic, to reduce the epidemic curve. Our study aims to describe changes in air pollution levels during the lockdown measures in the city of Barcelona (NE Spain), by studying the time evolution of atmospheric pollutants recorded at the urban background and traffic air quality monitoring stations. After two weeks of lockdown, urban air pollution markedly decreased but with substantial differences among pollutants. The most significant reduction was estimated for BC and NO2 (−45 to −51%), pollutants mainly related to traffic emissions. A lower reduction was observed for PM10 (−28 to −31.0%). By contrast, O3 levels increased (+33 to +57% of the 8 h daily maxima), probably due to lower titration of O3 by NO and the decrease of NOx in a VOC-limited environment. Relevant differences in the meteorology of these two periods were also evidenced. The low reduction for PM10 is probably related to a significant regional contribution and the prevailing secondary origin of fine aerosols, but an in-depth evaluation has to be carried out to interpret this lower decrease. There is no defined trend for the low SO2 levels, probably due to the preferential reduction in emissions from the least polluting ships. A reduction of most pollutants to minimal concentrations are expected for the forthcoming weeks because of the more restrictive actions implemented for a total lockdown, which entered into force on March 30th. There are still open questions on why PM10 levels were much less reduced than BC and NO2 and on what is the proportion of the abatement of pollution directly related to the lockdown, without meteorological interferences.
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              Does lockdown reduce air pollution? Evidence from 44 cities in northern China

               Rui Bao,  Achen Zhang (2020)
              Responding to the ongoing novel coronavirus (agent of COVID-19) outbreak, China implemented “the largest quarantine in human history” in an attempt to prevent the spread of the virus on 23 January 2020. Human mobility and relevant production and consumption activities have since decreased significantly. As a likely side effect of this decrease, many regions have recorded significant reductions in air pollution. We employed daily air pollution data and Intracity Migration Index (IMI) data form Baidu between 1 January and 21 March 2020 for 44 cities in northern China to examine whether, how, and to what extent travel restrictions affected air quality. On the basis of this quantitative analysis, we reached the following conclusions: (1) The reduction of air pollution was strongly associated with travel restrictions during this pandemic—on average, the air quality index (AQI) decreased by 7.80%, and five air pollutants (i.e., SO2, PM2.5, PM10, NO2, and CO) decreased by 6.76%, 5.93%, 13.66%, 24.67%, and 4.58%, respectively. (2) Mechanism analysis illustrated that the lockdowns of 44 cities reduced human movements by 69.85%, and a reduction in the AQI, PM2.5, and CO was partially mediated by human mobility, and SO2, PM10, and NO2 were completely mediated. (3) Our findings highlight the importance of understanding the role of green production and consumption.

                Author and article information

                J Acoust Soc Am
                J Acoust Soc Am
                The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America
                Acoustical Society of America
                March 2021
                17 March 2021
                17 March 2021
                : 149
                : 3
                : 1838-1842
                The Marcus Wallenberg Laboratory for Sound and Vibration Research (MWL), Department of Engineering Mechanics, KTH Royal Institute of Technology , SE-100 44, Stockholm, Sweden
                Author notes

                Also at: The Centre for ECO2 Vehicle Design, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, SE-100 44 Stockholm, Sweden.


                Electronic mail: rumpler@ 123456kth.se . ORCID: 0000-0002-6555-531X.


                ORCID: 0000-0001-9372-0768.


                ORCID: 0000-0003-1855-5437.

                10.0003778 JASA-06427
                © 2021 Author(s).


                All article content, except where otherwise noted, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

                Page count
                Pages: 5
                Funded by: Vetenskapsrådet https://doi.org/10.13039/501100004359
                Award ID: 2015-04925
                Funded by: VINNOVA https://doi.org/10.13039/501100001858
                Award ID: 2016-05195
                Funded by: EIT Urban Mobility
                Award ID: 20035
                Funded by: H2020 European Research Council https://doi.org/10.13039/100010663
                Award ID: 690699
                Special Issue on Covid-19 Pandemic Acoustic Effects
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