Analysis of changes in air pollution and its relationship with social isolation due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Brazilian Northeast
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Satellite Images
Nitrogen Dioxide
Aerosol Optical Depth

How to Cite

AZEVEDO, L. de S.; CANDEIAS, A. L. B.; TAVARES JÚNIOR, J. R. Analysis of changes in air pollution and its relationship with social isolation due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Brazilian Northeast. Sociedade & Natureza, [S. l.], v. 33, 2021. DOI: 10.14393/SN-v33-2021-59412. Disponível em: Acesso em: 1 mar. 2024.


In March 2020, the World Health Organization declared the Covid-19 a pandemic. It was considered that social isolation measures adopted to slow the spread of the virus, could have reduced the level of pollutants such as nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and AOD (Aerosol Optical Depth). Therefore, this research identified changes in atmospheric air pollution in Northeast Brazil through MODIS Terra / Aqua AOD and Sentinel 5P-TROPOMI images to investigate changes in AOD and NO2, respectively, during the first half of 2020 compared to the same period in 2019. The result revealed that NO2 in almost the entire Territory decreased in the second two months of 2020 (-4. 49%), which corresponds to the beginning of social blocks. The third bimester showed an increase of 2.26%. Regarding AOD, despite the slowdowns in social interaction, there was no significant drop.  Pollutant levels were also checked in urban, industrial areas and around water reservoirs and the results showed similarity between the analyzes carried out for the Northeast and these areas.
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