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Social Distancing Is Not Effective in Clean the Air in Java Island
15 Apr 2020 • Read : 174 x ,

PSTA-LAPAN Bandung- During the implementation of the Social Distancing (Sodis) policy in Indonesia since March 17, 2020, there was no significant increase in air quality in major cities on Java. This is evident from the data of the main particulate matter content causing air pollution such as NO2, PM 2.5 in general which did not experience a significant decrease when compared between the period after and before Sodis. However, a decrease in pollutants is seen in other islands, such as Sumatra, Bali, Lombok and Nusa Tenggara (Figure 1).

Figure 1. Comparison of PM2.5 content between before (9 March 2020) and after (27 March 2020) Sodis.

However, a more detailed analysis of data on the island of Java shows variations with a decrease in pollutants occurring in the north coast of western Java, banten area, and most of the northern part of East Java (Figure 2). Meanwhile, in the central and southern parts of the island of Java, it actually experienced an increase in pollutants. The decrease in pollutants in the north coast of western Java was also seen to be affected by the significant decrease that occurred in the Java Sea. This appears to be associated with increased rainfall in these areas.

Figure 2. Comparison of NO2 pollutant content between before (1-6 March 2020) and after (1-6 April 2020) Sodis.

Monitoring of NO2 content in the troposphere, the lower layer of the atmosphere, was obtained from the AURA satellite of the United States NOAA which has a spatial resolution of 0.25 degrees at the equator at around 13.30 WIB. While monitoring of PM2.5 on the surface is obtained from HIMAWARI and MASINGAR satellite data of the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) with spatial resolution of 0.4 degrees and temporal resolution every hour.

Although the results of monitoring using this satellite have lower accuracy compared to in situ surface measurement data, in general it can be obtained that various policy instruments related to Sodis have not demonstrated the effectiveness of stopping mobility and human activities that have a major influence on air pollution, namely from the sector transportation and factory.

Compiled by the Atmospheric Environment Research Group Team, PSTA-LAPAN

Sumber gambar cover: The Jakarta Post.

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