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Monitoring the Impact of COVID-19 Lockdown and Correlates on Nigeria's Air Quality Using TROPOMI Data
  • Saheed Adekunle Raji,
  • Olubunmi Odeja
Saheed Adekunle Raji
University of Lagos

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Olubunmi Odeja
Federal University of Petroleum Resources, Effurun
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Abstract It has been debated globally that the COVID-19 lockdown had significantly diminished the emission levels of anthropogenic greenhouse gases (GHGs). However, different countries possess different footprints of GHGs emission. In regions with inconsistent air quality observation, spaceborne sensors can provide synoptic assessment of air quality with time-based environmental decision making. In this study, we utilised satellite data to quantify the temporal dynamics of carbon monoxide (CO) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) between the pre-lockdown (January–March 2020), lockdown (April–July 2020) and post-lockdown (August–September 2020) periods in Nigeria. Periodic TROPOspheric Monitoring Instrument (TROPOMI) datasets were acquired from the Google Earth Engine Sentinel-5 Explorer and the Copernicus Open Access Hub. The Population-Weighted Mean Concentration (PWEC) of CO and NO2 was computed using raster-based population data and place-based air quality estimates. The associated economic correlates were computed using data mined from TROPOMI and available health records of Nigeria. Satellite data analysis showed that aggregate CO reduced by 35.1% (25.32⋅105 tons) and 9.06% (6.54⋅105 tons) and NO2 plummeted by 32.81% (22,500 tons) and 11.63% (5,360 tons) during the lockdown and post-lockdown periods across the 36 States of the country. While mobility rate dwindled substantially, mortality rate savings from the exposure to damaging effects of the GHGs were roughly $ 14 million (CO) and $10 million (NO2). The fluxes in CO and NO2 suggest that anthropogenic interference in air quality accounting can aid the understanding of the convoluted human–nature relationships for sustainable environmental management.