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Open AccessArticle

The Dimming of Lights in China during the COVID-19 Pandemic

1
Earth Observation Group, Payne Institute for Public Policy, Colorado School of Mines, Golden, CO 80401, USA
2
Russian Space Research Institute, 117997 Moscow, Russia
3
Payne Institute for Public Policy, Colorado School of Mines, Golden, CO 80401, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(17), 2851; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12172851
Received: 26 July 2020 / Revised: 24 August 2020 / Accepted: 28 August 2020 / Published: 2 September 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing of Night-Time Light)
A satellite survey of the cumulative radiant emissions from electric lighting across China reveals a large radiance decline in lighting from December 2019 to February 2020—the peak of the lockdown established to suppress the spread of COVID-19 infections. To illustrate the changes, an analysis was also conducted on a reference set from a year prior to the pandemic. In the reference period, the majority (62%) of China’s population lived in administrative units that became brighter in March 2019 relative to December 2018. The situation reversed in February 2020, when 82% of the population lived in administrative units where lighting dimmed as a result of the pandemic. The dimming has also been demonstrated with difference images for the reference and pandemic image pairs, scattergrams, and a nightly temporal profile. The results indicate that it should be feasible to monitor declines and recovery in economic activity levels using nighttime lighting as a proxy. View Full-Text
Keywords: VIIRS; Day-night band (DNB); Nighttime lights; COVID-19; Pandemic VIIRS; Day-night band (DNB); Nighttime lights; COVID-19; Pandemic
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    Link: https://payneinstitute.mines.edu/eog/
    Description: Tabular data on the VIIRS DNB sum-of-lights for China's level 2 adminstrative units. from the reference pair (December 2018 and March 2019) and pandemic pair (December 2029 and February 2020).
MDPI and ACS Style

Elvidge, C.D.; Ghosh, T.; Hsu, F.-C.; Zhizhin, M.; Bazilian, M. The Dimming of Lights in China during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Remote Sens. 2020, 12, 2851.

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