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      Diverse response of surface ozone to COVID-19 lockdown in China

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          Abstract

          Ozone (O 3) is a key oxidant and pollutant in the lower atmosphere. Significant increases in surface O 3 have been reported in many cities during the COVID-19 lockdown. Here we conduct comprehensive observation and modeling analyses of surface O 3 across China for periods before and during the lockdown. We find that daytime O 3 decreased in the subtropical south, in contrast to increases in most other regions. Meteorological changes and emission reductions both contributed to the O 3 changes, with a larger impact from the former especially in central China. The plunge in nitrogen oxide (NO x) emission contributed to O 3 increases in populated regions, whereas the reduction in volatile organic compounds (VOC) contributed to O 3 decreases across the country. Due to a decreasing level of NO x saturation from north to south, the emission reduction in NO x (46%) and VOC (32%) contributed to net O 3 increases in north China; the opposite effects of NO x decrease (49%) and VOC decrease (24%) balanced out in central China, whereas the comparable decreases (45-55%) in the two precursors contributed to net O 3 declines in south China. Our study highlights the complex dependence of O 3 on its precursors and the importance of meteorology in the short-term O 3 variability.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          Sci Total Environ
          Sci Total Environ
          The Science of the Total Environment
          Published by Elsevier B.V.
          0048-9697
          1879-1026
          15 May 2021
          15 May 2021
          Affiliations
          [a ]Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, China
          [b ]Royal Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy, Brussels, Belgium
          [c ]Laboratoire d'Aérologie, Toulouse, France
          [d ]NOAA Chemical Sciences Laboratory and CIRES/University of Colorado, Boulder, CO, USA
          [e ]Environmental Modeling Group, Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, Hamburg, Germany
          [f ]Atmospheric Chemistry Observations and Modeling Laboratory, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO, USA
          Author notes
          [* ]Correspondence to: Y. Liu, School of Atmospheric Science, Sun Yat-sen University, Zhuhai, China.
          [** ]Corresponding author.
          [1]

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          Article
          S0048-9697(21)02810-2 147739
          10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.147739
          8123531
          © 2021 Published by Elsevier B.V.

          Since January 2020 Elsevier has created a COVID-19 resource centre with free information in English and Mandarin on the novel coronavirus COVID-19. The COVID-19 resource centre is hosted on Elsevier Connect, the company's public news and information website. Elsevier hereby grants permission to make all its COVID-19-related research that is available on the COVID-19 resource centre - including this research content - immediately available in PubMed Central and other publicly funded repositories, such as the WHO COVID database with rights for unrestricted research re-use and analyses in any form or by any means with acknowledgement of the original source. These permissions are granted for free by Elsevier for as long as the COVID-19 resource centre remains active.

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