Ayyyeee… What’s Goodie Everyone. So I got some fresh tea and it involves the greenhouse gases and Coronavirus.
In a wave of shutdowns and shuttered economies caused by the coronavirus pandemic fueled a momentous decline in global greenhouse gas emissions, although one unlikely to last, a group of scientists reported Tuesday according to The Washington Post;
As covid-19 infections surged in March and April, nations worldwide experienced an abrupt reduction in driving, flying and industrial output, leading to a startling decline of more than 1 billion tons of carbon dioxide emissions. That includes a peak decline in daily emissions of 17 percent in early April, according to the study published in the journal Nature Climate Change. For some nations, the drop was much steeper.
Scientists have long insisted that the world must scale back carbon pollution significantly and quickly to mitigate the worst effects of climate change over coming decades, although none have suggested that a deadly global pandemic is the way to do so.
Tuesday’s study projects that total emissions for 2020 will probably fall between 4 and 7 percent compared to last year an unheard of drop in normal times, but considerably less dramatic than the decline during the first few months of the year when economies screeched to a halt. The final 2020 figure will depend on how rapidly, or cautiously, people around the world resume ordinary life.
The unprecedented situation produced by the coronavirus has offered a glimpse into the massive scale required to cut global emissions, year after year, to meet the most ambitious goals set by world leaders when they forged the 2015 Paris climate accord. Last fall, a U.N. report estimated that global greenhouse gas emissions must begin falling by 7.6 percent each year beginning in 2020 to avoid the worst effects of climate change.
Tuesday’s study underscores how far the world remains from that long term aspiration. The forced plunge in greenhouse gas emissions in recent months, while extraordinary, returned carbon pollution levels only to those last seen in 2006. And the recent changes are unlikely to last.
Although the decline in emissions during the pandemic may have been unprecedented, it was relatively small when it comes to combating global warming. The peak 17 percent decline in global emissions which occurred in early April meant nations continued to generate more than 80 percent of carbon pollution.
Emissions have fallen before during world wars and economic recessions, for instance, and markedly during the Great Depression. But experts do not think the modern world has experienced a plunge so sudden and sharp as in recent months.
Most researchers agree that emissions are all but certain to bounce back once countries reopen. Already, demand for energy is resuming as people return to the roads and many U.S. states begin easing stay-at-home orders that helped drive the price per gallon of gasoline to less than $1 at some pumps.
Governments also are expected to begin trying to boost their economies with stimulus spending in the coming months. But how leaders decide to spend that money could make a fundamental difference.