Professor Ally Lewis, University of York

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to widespread changes in working patterns and reduced mobility all around the world. One early result of this, widely discussed in the media, was an apparent improvement in air quality. So did the pandemic really change the atmosphere, and if it did, is it now returning back to normal?

Short-term changes in emissions provide an opportunity to see how the atmosphere might respond in a future world, and this talk will explore what we have (and haven’t) learned over the last 18 months and the implications for both public health and climate change policy.

Professor Ally Lewis is an experimental atmospheric chemist based at the University of York, and a science director at the National Centre for Atmospheric Science. He has specialised in developing new methods to quantify pollution and made field measurements on all seven continents. He has worked on many different aspects of air pollution science, including diesel engine emissions, solvents and domestic products and the effects of the energy sector on atmospheric composition. He is currently chairs the government’s independent science advisory committee on air pollution, and the science advisory council of the Department for Transport.

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