Research looks at climate impacts of COVID-19
A post-novel coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown economic recovery plan that incorporates and emphasizes climate-friendly choices could help address global warming, according to a new study published in the journal Nature Climate Change. This is despite the sudden reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and air pollutants during lockdown having a negligible impact on holding down global temperature change.
For the study, researchers led by the University of Leeds in England analyzed accessible global mobility data from Google and Apple. They calculated how 10 different greenhouse gases and air pollutants changed between February and June 2020 in 123 countries.
The findings detail how despite carbon dioxide (CO2), nitrogen oxides (NOx), and other emissions falling by between 10 to 30 percent globally, through the massive behavioral shifts seen during lockdown, there will be only a tiny impact on the climate, mainly because the decrease in emissions from confinement measures is temporary.
The researchers also modelled options for post-lockdown recovery, showing that the current situation provides a unique opportunity to implement a structural economic change that could help move towards a more resilient, net-zero emissions future.