COVID-19 and air pollution in New York City

(1) Hunter College High School, New York, New York, (2) Fordham University, New York, New York
Cover photo for COVID-19 and air pollution in New York City

The COVID-19 pandemic may have improved air quality, as the restriction on travel and the slowdown of social and economic activities may have helped to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases. In this analysis, a seasonal Autoregressive Integrated Moving Average (ARIMA) model is proposed to forecast the level of PM2.5 particulate pollutants in New York City, using differencing at a lag equal to trailing 12 months to remove seasonal effects. Comparing the actual data with the model’s prediction during the period from January 2020 to January 2021, no statistically significant difference was found when taking long-term trends into consideration. Overall, COVID-19 did not show a convincing temporary positive impact on air quality in New York City.

Download Full Article as PDF