Journal article Open Access

Top-down NOx emission changes in China using TROPOMI NO2 data from Jan 1 to Mar 12, 2020

Zhang, Ruixiong; Zhang, Yuzhong; Lin, Haipeng; Feng, Xu; Fu, Tzung-May; Wang, Yuhang

This datasets contains the top-down NOx emission data during Jan 1 - Mar 12, 2020, derived in the paper NOx emission reduction and recovery during COVID-19 in East China ( The top-down NOx emission changes can be used as a measure to assess the socioeconomic activity changes due to COVID-19 control measures. 


Data Description: 

 regional_emission_changes_TableS1.xlsx: The derived NOx emission changes in China at regional (East China), provincial, and city (Wuhan) levels. The timeseries plots of NOx emission changes in the mentioned regions This contains data used to derive the top-down NOx emissions (at 0.05 degree resolution): NO2 data from TROPOMI and WRF-GC; NOx emissions from MEIC emission inventory. 

How to Cite:

Please cite both the Zenodo dataset and the paper (, Zhang, R.; Zhang, Y.; Lin, H.; Feng, X.; Fu, T.-M.; Wang, Y. NOx Emission Reduction and Recovery during COVID-19 in East China. Atmosphere 202011, 433.). 


If you have questions, please contact the corresponding authors Drs. Ruixiong Zhang ( and Yuzhong Zhang ( 

Paper Abstract:

Since its first confirmed case at the end of 2019, COVID-19 has become a global pandemic in three months with more than 1.4 million confirmed cases worldwide, as of early April 2020. Quantifying the changes of pollutant emissions due to COVID-19 and associated governmental control measures is crucial to understand its impacts on economy, air pollution, and society. We used the WRF-GC model and the tropospheric NO2 column observations retrieved by the TROPOMI instrument to derive the top-down NOx emission change estimation between the three periods: P1 (January 1st – January 22nd, 2020), P2 (January 23rd, Wuhan lockdown – February 9th, 2020), and P3 (February 10th, back-to-work day – March 12th, 2020). We found that NOx emissions in East China averaged during P2 decreased by 50% compared to those averaged during P1. The NOx emissions averaged during P3 increased by 26% compared to those during P2. Most provinces in East China gradually regained some of their NOx emissions after February 10, the official back-to-work day, but NOx emissions in most provinces has not yet to return to their previous levels in early January. NOx emissions in Wuhan, the first epicenter of COVID-19, had no sign of emission recovering by March 12. A few provinces, such as Zhejiang and Shanxi, have recovered fast, with their averaged NOx emissions during P3 almost back to pre-lockdown levels.

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