Earth  ID: 4835

NO2 Decline Related to Restrictions Due to COVID-19 in South America

On June 1, the World Health Organization noted that Central and South American countries have become “the intense zones” for COVID-19 transmission. The Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) on board NASA’s Aura satellite provides data that indicate that restrictions on human activity have led to about a 36% decrease in NO2 levels in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, relative to previous years. Other large cities in South America show similar decreases in NO2: 36% in Santiago, Chile; 35% in São Paolo, Brazil; and 40% in Buenos Aires, Argentina. One notable exception is in Lima, Peru, showing a 69% decrease. The large decrease may partly be associated with natural variations in weather that can, for instance, disperse air pollution more quickly. Additional analysis is required to determine the amount of the decrease of NO2 in Lima that is associated with a decrease in human activity. A notable increase in NO2 occurred in northern South America, which is likely associated with increased agricultural burning in 2020 relative to previous years.

Visualization Credits

Trent L. Schindler (USRA): Lead Visualizer
Bryan Duncan (NASA/GSFC): Lead Scientist
Lok Lamsal (USRA): Scientist
Joanna Joiner (NASA/GSFC): Scientist
Yasuko Yoshida (SSAI): Scientist
Kathryn Mersmann (USRA): Lead Producer
Maria-Jose Vinas Garcia (Telophase): Producer
Please give credit for this item to:
NASA's Scientific Visualization Studio

The Blue Marble data is courtesy of Reto Stockli (NASA/GSFC).

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Data Used:
Terra and Aqua/MODIS/Blue Marble: Next Generation
Note: While we identify the data sets used in these visualizations, we do not store any further details nor the data sets themselves on our site.

DLESE >> Atmospheric science
SVS >> Earth
DLESE >> Environmental science
GCMD >> Earth Science
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Atmosphere >> Air Quality
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Atmosphere >> Air Quality >> Nitrogen Oxides
SVS >> Aura
NASA Science >> Earth
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Atmosphere >> Atmospheric Chemistry >> Nitrogen Compounds

GCMD keywords can be found on the Internet with the following citation: Olsen, L.M., G. Major, K. Shein, J. Scialdone, S. Ritz, T. Stevens, M. Morahan, A. Aleman, R. Vogel, S. Leicester, H. Weir, M. Meaux, S. Grebas, C.Solomon, M. Holland, T. Northcutt, R. A. Restrepo, R. Bilodeau, 2013. NASA/Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Earth Science Keywords. Version