Coronavirus Lockdowns Have Caused a Whopping 17% Drop in Global Carbon Emissions
May 19, 2020 at 5:40pm
The coronavirus lockdowns have had an “extreme” effect on daily carbon emissions, causing a whopping 17% drop globally during peak confinement measures by early April – levels last seen in 2006.
However, it is unlikely to last, according to a new analysis by an international team of scientists, who said the brief pollution break will likely be “a drop in the ocean” when it comes to climate change.
This is the first analysis to measure the pandemic-driven global drop in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from January to April of this year.
Carbon dioxide, emitted from burning fossil fuels such as oil, gas and and coal, is the greenhouse gas that's most responsible for global warming. It stays in the atmosphere about a century before dissipating.
While the impact of lockdown measures is likely to lead to the largest annual decrease in emissions since the end of World War II, 2020 is still on track to be one of the five hottest years on record, and the study notes that these reductions are no “silver lining.”
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The study was published in the peer-reviewed British journal Nature Climate Change.
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