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How the blockades by Covid-19 have affected climate change

How the blockades by Covid-19 have affected climate change

The global response to the Covid-19 crisis has had little impact on the continued rise in atmospheric Co2 concentrations. This is what the World Meteorological Organization says, which shows, among other things, that carbon emissions fell this year due to blockages and government restrictions. However, this decline is not enough according to the Organization. 

Greenhouse gas concentrations are the cumulative result of past and present emissions of a range of substances, including carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide.

For CO2, levels are measured in parts per million (ppm) - an indicator of overall atmospheric abundance. According to the WMO, the global average in 2019 was 410.5 ppm, an increase of 2.6 ppm compared to 2018. 

Thanks to blockages in early 2020, carbon emissions fell by 17% to their peak, but the overall effect on concentrations has been very small. Preliminary estimates suggest that CO2 will continue to rise this year, but this increase will decrease by 0.08 to 0.23 ppm.

While there is no overall figure for 2020 concentrations, individual monitoring stations indicate that growth has continued this year despite the pandemic. Experts say the blockade by Covid-19 alone has not slowed the rise in concentrations of all these heating gases in the atmosphere. 

One of the meteorological experts says:

'The Covid-19 pandemic alone is not a solution to climate change. However it provides us with a platform for more sustainable and ambitious climate action to reduce emissions to zero through a complete transformation of our industrial, energy and transportation systems.

The necessary changes are economically affordable and technically feasible and would affect our daily lives only slightly.

Meteorologists expect CO2 levels to fluctuate by 1 ppm between years due to natural climate fluctuations and for reasons other than human carbon emissions. The WMO expects CO2 to fall by 0.08-0.23 ppm by the end of the year.