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COVID-19 Lockdown Cannot Slow The Effects Of Climate Change & Greenhouse Emission, Study Finds

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KC Archana
KC ArchanaUpdated on Aug 09, 2020, 13:45 IST

The?COVID-19 pandemic has caused an unprecedented shift in our daily lives, and to an extent, brought about a change in the environment.

However, is it enough to have made a lasting impact on climate change and greenhouse emissions??Experts warn the emissions saved during lockdown would be essentially meaningless.

Chennai COVID-19 Lockdown Traffic Twitter/Image For Representation

Using open-source data, the team calculated how levels of 10 different greenhouse gases and air pollutants changed in more than 120 countries between February and June this year, reports AFP.?

They found that pollutants such as carbon dioxide and nitrogen oxides fell in the period by between 10 and 30 percent.?

Given that the "massive behavioural shifts" during lockdown were only temporary, lower emissions so far this year are unlikely to influence the climate.

Even assuming travel restrictions and social distancing continue to the end of 2021, the team concluded that this would only save 0.01 C of warming by 2030??

Also Read: Bill Gates Warns Climate Change Could Be Worse Than COVID-19 Pandemic?

COVID-19 Lockdown Greenhouse Image For Representation/Reuters

Research co-author Dr Joeri Rogelj, Lecturer in Climate Change and the Environment at the Grantham Institute at Imperial College London, called the results "both sobering and hopeful."

"The flash crash in global emissions due to lockdown measures will have no measurable impact on global temperatures by 2030; but the decisions we make this year about how to recover from this crisis can put us on a solid track to meet the Paris Agreement. Out of this tragedy comes an opportunity, but unless it is seized a more polluting next decade is not excluded," he said.

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"Lockdown showed that we can change and change fast, but it also showed the limits of behaviour change," Piers Forster, study co-author and director of the Priestley International Centre for Climate at Britain's University of Leeds.

?Also Read: Climate Change Will Cause Two-Storeys High Arctic Waves, And Damage Coastal Areas

"Without underlying structural change we won't make it," he told AFP.?

The researchers also modeled 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.??

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