During January-February 2020, parts of China faced restricted mobility under COVID-19 quarantines, which have been associated with improved air quality. Because particulate pollutants scatter, diffuse, and absorb incoming solar radiation, a net negative radiative forcing, decreased air pollution can yield surface warming. As such, this study (1) documents the evolution of China's January-February 2020 air temperature and concurrent particulate changes; (2) determines the temperature response related to reduced particulates during the COVID-19 quarantine (C19Q); and (3) discusses the conceptual implications for temperature-dependent disease transmission. C19Q particulate evolution is monitored using satellite analyses, and concurrent temperature anomalies are diagnosed using surface stations and Aqua AIRS imagery. Meanwhile, two WRF-Chem simulations are forced by normal emissions and the satellite-based urban aerosol changes, respectively. Urban aerosols decreased from 27.1% of pre-C19Q aerosols to only 17.5% during C19Q. WRF-Chem resolved similar to 0.2 degrees C warming across east central China, that represented a minor, though statistically significant contribution to C19Q temperature anomalies. The largest area of warming is concentrated south of Chengdu and Wuhan where temperatures increased between +0.2-0.3 degrees C. The results of this study are important for understanding the anthropogenic forcing on regional meteorology. Epidemiologically, the marginal, yet persistent, warming during C19Q may retard temperature-dependent disease transmission, possibly including SARS-CoV-2. (C) 2021 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Publication Source (Journal or Book title)
SCIENCE OF THE TOTAL ENVIRONMENT
Miller, P. W., Reesman, C., Grossman, M. K., Nelson, S. A., Liu, V., & Wang, P. (2021). Marginal warming associated with a COVID-19 quarantine and the implications for disease transmission. SCIENCE OF THE TOTAL ENVIRONMENT, 780 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.146579