ANALYSIS OF NO2 TROPOSPHERIC COLUMN AMOUNT AT AIRPORTS IN MALAYSIA BEFORE AND DURING COVID-19 PANDEMIC USING SENTINEL-5P TROPOMI DATA
Keywords: NO2, aviation emission, Sentinel-5p, Remote Sensing, Malaysia, COVID-19
Abstract. Air pollution is a serious environmental and health issue in Malaysia due to the recent urbanization processes. The main sources of air pollutants are motorized vehicles in urban areas and airports and industrial activities. At the airports, NO2 is the main pollutant of concern besides aerosols particles, yet gap in data availability prevent studies to describe their patterns and quantify their effects on human health and climate change. In this study NO2 data from TROPOMI sensor on board Sentinel 5-P satellite was used to characterize the spatial and temporal patterns of NO2 tropospheric column amounts at major airports in Malaysia. The results demonstrate that NO2 amounts from aircrafts and ground traffic activities are generally higher and/or similar to the amounts found in urban areas. Total tropospheric column amounts of NO2 during the movement restriction imposed due to Covid-19 pandemic between March and April 2020 was approximately 50% lower the total emission during the same period in 2019 (representing a business as usual period). Assessing the spatial pattern and temporal variations in NO2 (both surface and total vertical profile) is important for monitoring the impact of air pollutants on climate change and human health in Malaysia.