17 May 2021

17 May 2021

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal TC.

Air pollutants in Xinjiang during the COVID-19 pandemic and glaciochemical records of a Tien-Shan glacier

Feiteng Wang1, Xin Zhang1, Fanglong Wang1, Mengyuan Song1, Zhongqin Li1, and Jing Ming2 Feiteng Wang et al.
  • 1State Key Laboratory of Cryospheric Science, Northwest Institute of Eco-Environment and Resources, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou, 730000, China
  • 2Beacon Science & Consulting, Malvern, 5061, Australia

Abstract. The outbreak of COVID-19 unprecedently impacts the world in many aspects. Air pollutants have been largely reduced in cities worldwide, as reported by numerous studies. We investigated the daily concentrations of SO2, NO2, CO and PM2.5 monitored across the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region (Xinjiang), China, from 2019 through 2020. The variation in NO2 showed responding dips when the local governments imposed mobility restriction measures, while SO2, CO and PM2.5 did not consistently correspond to NO2. This difference indicates that the restriction measures targeted traffic majorly. Sampling from two snow pits separately dug in 2019 and 2020 in Urumqi No.1 (UG1), we analysed water-stable isotopes, soluble ions, black and organic carbon (BC and OC). BC and OC show no differences in the snow-pit profiles dated from 2018 to 2020. The concentrations of human activity induced soluble ions (K+, Cl, SO42− and NO3) in the snow shrank to 20 %–30% in 2020 of their respective concentrations in 2019, while they increased 2–3.5-fold in 2019 from before 2018. We suggest that the pandemic has already left marks in the cryosphere and outlook that more evidence would be exposed in ice cores, tree rings, and other archives in the future.

Feiteng Wang et al.

Status: open (until 12 Jul 2021)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on tc-2021-133', Anonymous Referee #1, 10 Jun 2021 reply
  • RC2: 'Comment on tc-2021-133', Anonymous Referee #2, 14 Jun 2021 reply

Feiteng Wang et al.

Data sets

Footprints of COVID-19 in a Tien-Shan glacier Jing Ming

Feiteng Wang et al.


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Short summary
The ongoing pandemic of COVID-19 impacts deeply in every aspects of human life and nature. After investigate the air pollutants in Xinjiang from 2019 through 2020, we find the mobility restrictions due to the COVID-19 dipped air NO2 concentration twice from 2019 normal in 2020 and snow chemistry records also show abnormal decrease in Urumqi Glacier No. 1.