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Exploring Changes in Atmospheric Composition During COVID-19 Pandemic with NASA Giovanni

Step 1: Generate Global Monthly Maps

During the COVID-19 pandemic we have seen considerable changes in atmospheric composition following dramatic changes in human behaviour during lockdowns and the corresponding changes in air pollution emissions.  In this coursework you will use NASA Giovanni to explore some of these changes in atmospheric composition.

Create global monthly maps to explore the differences between the month of April 2019 and the month of April 2020 compared for observed tropospheric nitrogen dioxide, observed total column ozone, modelled black carbon surface mass concentrations, and one other variable of your choice.  Create a word document with these 8 maps, making sure to label each map with a detailed caption stating the variable, date, and units, and credit the data source.  Number the figures so you can refer to them later.

After doing this, choose two regions to generate regional averaged time series of observed tropospheric nitrogen dioxide, observed total column ozone and modelled black carbon surface concentrations for each region, starting from January 2018 and running through September 2021.  (You are welcome to start earlier to get a more informative time series, but it takes a lot of time for Giovanni to process daily data—for example, generating a daily time series of tropospheric NO2 for China from 1 January 2018 to the present might take about 5 minutes).  Add each of these 6 plots to your document, and label each plot with clear captions specifying the variable, dates, units, and the region, and crediting the data source.  Number the figures so you can refer to them later.

Follow this up with a brief discussion interpreting these data, maximum 300 words.  Summarise what you observe in the spatial and temporal data, including highlighting any key changes you observe during the pandemic. Reference two scientific journal articles providing supporting information and/or putting your comments into context.  Add a Bibliography, but note that the bibliography is not included in the word count.

Suggested References

Dutta, V., Kumar, S. & Dubey, D. (2021). Recent advances in satellite mapping of global air quality: evidences during COVID-19 pandemic. Environmental Sustainability 4, 469–487. 

Potts, D.L., Marais, E.A., Boesch, H., Pope, R.J., Lee, J.D., Drysdale, W.S., Chipperfield, M.P., Kerridge, B.J., Siddans, R., Moore, D.P., & Remedios, J.J. (2021). Diagnosing air quality changes in the UK during the COVID-19 lockdown using TROPOMI and GEOS-Chem. Environmental Research Letters, 16.

Jephcote, C., Hansell, A. L., Adams, K., & Gulliver, J. (2021). Changes in air quality during COVID-19 'lockdown' in the United Kingdom. Environmental pollution (Barking, Essex : 1987), 272, 116011.

This coursework counts as 15% of your module mark.  It will be assessed as follows:

Correct Generation of Plots—score out of 10 points

Completeness of Captions—score out of 10 points

Quality of Discussion—score out of 10 points

Please note, it is of the utmost importance that you generate the figures, captions and text yourself.  This is individual work, not group work.  The assessments will be run through the Turnitin similarity analysis tool which searches for plagiarism.

Please submit this assignment as a word document by 2pm on Friday 29 October via Turnitin as Coursework 1.

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