Impact of Protests on New York City Troposphere

Anthropogenic activities like road traffic and burning of coal, wood and fuel are responsible for drastic increase in tropospheric NO2, which is a major gaseous air pollutant. New York City (NYC) is currently on protest as a result of the situation developed due to George Floyd’s death. In NYC, angry protests continue nationwide a week after George Floyd’s death. Just as the city was getting ready to cautiously reopen on June 8, the protests injected a new factor of unease, coming with not only police confrontations and unrest, but also resulted in an increased number of anthropogenic activities hence increase in NO2 pollutant. Figure 1 shows Pre-protest (lockdown) and during protest NO2 concentration, using Sentinel-5p, over NYC. Figure 1(a) shows avery low averaged NO2 of 8.8×1015 molec./cm2 over NYC. This low concentration of NO2 is due to lockdown in NYC. While a high level of 23.3×1015 molec./cm2 averaged NO2 was observed during protest in NYC. In Figure 1, the results shows that during protest anthropogenic activities are exponentially increased, which results 164.773% increase in tropospheric NO2.

Fig.1 - NO2 in NYC troposphere using Sentinel-5p


All figures have been generated using Google Earth Engine.