2021 Paper Wins First ACP Paul Crutzen Publication Award


On Monday, September 26, 2022, it was announced the paper “Global impact of COVID-19 restrictions on the surface concentrations of nitrogen dioxide and ozone” had been selected for the Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP) Paul Crutzen Publication Award for 2021. The paper’s authors include Christoph Keller (lead), Emma Knowland, Rob Lucchesi, and Steven Pawson of the GMAO.

photo of Amin DezfuliThe ACP Paul Crutzen Publication Award—for an outstanding publication in ACP that advances our understanding of atmospheric chemistry and physics—was inaugurated this year as part of celebrations to mark 20 years of ACP. This is the first year of the award. Ken Carslaw, one of the founders of ACP, stated: “Paul Crutzen played such a critical role in getting the journal off the ground 20 years ago, so we are proud to be able to honor his contribution to ACP’s success with the journal’s first publication award. We are also grateful to the independent commission, led by Prof Annica Ekman from Stockholm University, for selecting the paper from nearly one thousand articles published in 2021.”

Paul J. Crutzen, whom the award is named after, was a Dutch meteorologist and atmospheric chemist who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1995 for his work in atmospheric chemistry, specifically the study of the formation and decomposition of atmospheric ozone.

Congratulations to all recipients of this award!



Social distancing to combat the COVID-19 pandemic has led to widespread reductions in air pollutant emissions. Quantifying these changes requires a business-as-usual counterfactual that accounts for the synoptic and seasonal variability of air pollutants. We use a machine learning algorithm driven by information from the NASA GEOS-CF model to assess changes in nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and ozone (O3) at 5756 observation sites in 46 countries from January through June 2020. Reductions in NO2 coincide with the timing and intensity of COVID-19 restrictions, ranging from 60 % in severely affected cities (e.g., Wuhan, Milan) to little change (e.g., Rio de Janeiro, Taipei). More: https://acp.copernicus.org/articles/21/3555/2021/


Keller, C. A., Evans, M. J., Knowland, K. E., Hasenkopf, C. A., Modekurty, S., Lucchesi, R. A., Oda, T., Franca, B. B., Mandarino, F. C., Díaz Suárez, M. V., Ryan, R. G., Fakes, L. H., and Pawson, S., 2021: Global impact of COVID-19 restrictions on the surface concentrations of nitrogen dioxide and ozone, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 21, 3555–3592, https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-21-3555-2021.

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