Climate Change: Lockdown Has ‘Negligible’ Effect on Temperatures
Scientists say that the dramatic decline in greenhouse gas emissions during the global Lockdown will have little effect on our warmer world.
Their new study shows that by 2030, global temperatures will be 0.1 degrees Celsius lower than expected.
However, the study’s authors emphasize that environmental development may change significantly over the long term.
A robust green stimulus could cause global warming to exceed 1.5 degrees Celsius by the middle of this century.
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Previous research has already shown that there have been significant changes in greenhouse gas emissions (carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, etc.) due to the closure of transportation systems due to the pandemic.
The world’s daily carbon dioxide emissions have dropped by 17 percent since the crisis. The research is based on dynamic global data from Google and Apple.
Of Leeds University, who led the study, Professor Pires Foster worked with his daughter Harriet when her A-level test was canceled due to the COVID 19’s lockdown.
Together with other researchers, they calculated how emissions from 10 different greenhouse gases and air pollutant gases changed in 123 countries between February and June 2020.
They found that carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and other emissions fell by 10-30 percent worldwide in April, mainly due to reduced surface transport.
However, this new initiative proves that some greenhouse gas reduction has outweighed each other in terms of warming.
Nitrogen oxides from transport generally affect the warming of the atmosphere. They also reduced sulfur dioxide during the 30% reduction, which comes primarily from burning coal. The emissions of this gas help form aerosols that reflect sunlight into space and cool the planet.
This balance of nature usually occurs temporarily on the border of pandemics so that by 2030 the effects of global warming will hardly be felt.
“While temporary changes may help, global warming must permanently reduce carbon dioxide emissions,” said Pierce Foster, a professor at the University of Leeds.
Carbon dioxide survives in the atmosphere for a long time. To eliminate the previously emitted carbon dioxide, we need to reduce carbon emissions to zero in the long run.
Harriet Foster, the co-author of the study who worked with her father, said recent effects would not be permanent, but there was a golden opportunity for governments to change course.
“Our research shows that the lockdown’s actual impact is very minimal on the climate,” he explained. The critical thing to recognize is that investing in green industries gives us enormous opportunities for economic growth – and that could bring about a massive change in the climate in the future.”
According to research authors, road congestion is still low in many countries. As per Google accounting, it was 25 percent or less of all UK transport sectors, but according to UK government figures, with motor vehicle traffic below 12 percent, while buses and trains are running at less than 50 percent.
The research team said that if the transportation system returns to normal and the world remains steadfast in investing in fossil fuels during the economic recovery, global warming is likely to rise above 1.5 degrees Celsius by 2050.
But suppose the world’s economic recovery turns green. In that case, fossil fuel inflows and outflows should avoid, and global carbon emissions may expect to reach zero by 2050. Global temperatures are likely to hover below 1.5 degrees Celsius by the middle of the century.
So what needs to be done to help this happen? Corinne Le Curie, a professor at Anglia University who co-authored the study, said some action should take now.
“In cities, cycling (including electric bikes) and walking should start,” he told BBC News. Because it has the multifaceted benefits of climate, it reduces air pollution and is suitable for health.
Professor Foster is optimistic that the post-COVID economic stimulus can help transform the industry by producing electric vehicles alone.
Professor Foster acclaimed that disasters have been the maximal change. He is hopeful about the transforming industry through electric vehicles alone.
“Historically, disasters have brought the biggest changes,” he said. The best way to retain our abandoned climate is to work hand in hand with our government. Unless the people’s voices work together, our government-industry also can’t work according to their plan.