Recent weeks have seen a number of estimates of how the coronavirus pandemic has affected CO2 emissions in China, the UK, Europe and the world as a whole in 2020. But a key question for climate change is what impact this has had on the overall amount of CO2 in the atmosphere – the principal driver of global temperature rise. In our analysis for Carbon Brief, we assess whether the global drop in emissions will have a noticeable impact on atmospheric CO2 concentrations this year. Our findings show that the annual average CO2 concentrations will still increase through this year, even though emissions are reducing. Across the whole year, we estimate CO2 levels will rise by 2.48 parts per million (ppm). This increase is 0.32ppm smaller than if there had been no lockdown – equivalent to 11% of the expected rise. This means that, although global emissions are smaller, they are still continuing – just at a slower rate. Additional CO2 is still accumulating in the atmosphere. An analogy is filling a bath from a tap. If the tap represents CO2 emissions, and the water level in the bath is CO2 concentrations, while we have slightly turned the tap down temporarily, water is still flowing into the bath and so the level is still rising. To slow climate change, the tap needs to be turned right down – and permanently. “Across the whole year, we estimate CO2 levels will rise by 2.48 parts per million (ppm). This increase is 0.32ppm smaller than if there had been no lockdown – equivalent to 11% of the expected rise.”
Carbon Brief 7th May 2020 read more »
‘Promiscuous treatment of nature’ will lead to more pandemics – scientists. Humanity’s “promiscuous treatment of nature” needs to change or there will be more deadly pandemics such as Covid-19, warn scientists who have analysed the link between viruses, wildlife and habitat destruction. Deforestation and other forms of land conversion are driving exotic species out of their evolutionary niches and into manmade environments, where they interact and breed new strains of disease, the experts say. Three-quarters of new or emerging diseases that infect humans originate in animals, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, but it is human activity that multiplies the risks of contagion.
Guardian 7th May 2020 read more »