Impacts of the COVID-19 confinement on air quality, the Land Surface Temperature and the urban heat island in eight cities of Andalusia (Spain)
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Urban heat islandLand surface temperatureUrban resilienceCOVID-19Air pollutionLockdown
David Hidalgo García, Julián Arco Díaz, Impacts of the COVID-19 confinement on air quality, the Land Surface Temperature and the urban heat island in eight cities of Andalusia (Spain), Remote Sensing Applications: Society and Environment, Volume 25, 2022, 100667, ISSN 2352-9385, [https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rsase.2021.100667]
The COVID-19 outbreak and ensuing global lockdown situation have generated a very negative impact on the world economy, but they have also lent us a unique opportunity to research and better grasp the impacts of human activity on environmental pollution and urban climates. Such studies will be of vital importance for decision-making on measures needed to mitigate the effects of climate change in urban areas, in order to turn them into resilient environments. This study looks at eight cities in the region of Andalusia (southern Spain) to comprehensively assess their environmental quality with parameters (Pm-10, So(2), No-2, Co and O-3) obtained from meteorological stations. The aim was to determine how these parameters affect the Land Surface Temperature (LST) and the Surface Urban Heat Island (SUHI), on the basis of Sentinel 3 satellite thermal images. Knowing to what extent improved air quality can reduce the LST and SUHI of cities will be essential in the context of future environmental studies on which to base sustainable decisions. The geographic situation of cities in the Mediterranean Sea basin, highly vulnerable to climate change, and the high pollution rates and high daily temperature variations of these urban areas make them particularly attractive for analyses of this sort. During the confinement period, average reductions of some environmental pollutants were achieved: So(2) (-33.5%), Pm-10 (-38.3%), No-2 (-44.0%) and Co (-26.5%). However, the environmental variable O-3 underwent an average growth of 5.9%. The LST showed an average reduction of -4.6 degrees C (-19.3%), while the SUHI decreased by 1.02 degrees C (-59.8%). These values exhibit high spatio-temporal variations be-tween day and night, and between inland and coastal cities.