The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted our way of life for more than a year. To combat the pandemic, several unprecedented and stringent measures have been taken worldwide, such as social distancing, partial and total lockdowns, extensive travel bans, massive quarantines, etc. In addition to reducing contagion and saving many lives, these restrictive measures have greatly limited human activities such as traffic and industry. This situation has resulted in a direct impact on the emission of aerosols and gases, creating unique conditions for assessing the anthropogenic effect on the composition of the atmosphere. These variations in the aerosol could have also subsequently influenced/affected the cloud characteristics. The quantification of these effects provides important information to discern between natural and anthropogenic effects, which remain one of the main uncertainties in climate change assessment. In this particular situation, ground-based remote sensing, alone or combined with other instrumentation, provides fundamental information to improve our understanding of the anthropogenic impact. Additionally, the impact is expected to differ from region to region according to the measures adopted by the governments. Thus, both global and regional analyses are needed in order to assess the overall impact of this unprecedented situation. Resolving such uncertainties is crucial in constraining the future global and regional climate responses to the combination of greenhouse gases and aerosol emissions. This extraordinary situation makes it highly pertinent and timely to bring together contributions on this topic in the context of a Special Issue. This Special Issue will welcome contributions dealing with the study of the effects of these closures on atmospheric aerosols and gases, and other derived effects on clouds, focusing on passive or active remote sensing from the ground. Combinations of ground-based remote sensing combined with in situ and satellite data are also encouraged.
Dr. Maria A. Obregón
Prof. Dr. Maria João Costa
Dr. Guadalupe Sánchez Hernández
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