Nature and climate News | Scientific ecology

The Pandemic Cuts Carbon Emissions: CO2 Emissions Reduce 17 Percent

The Pandemic Cuts Carbon Emissions

Amazing data was recorded by the scientists who are observing the state of carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere. It turns out that only in last month, CO2 emissions were decreased by 17%. During the coronavirus, in many countries, as environmentalists call it, the “silver pad”: people almost stopped using land transport, airplanes, that not only reduced harmful emissions, but also made the air much cleaner.

The results of the analysis of the situation showed that the average daily carbon emissions decreased by 18.7 million tons comparing to last year. And today, the level of emissions is comparable to the 2006’s data.

Robert Jackson, who is a co-author of the new study and chairman of the Global Carbon Project, projected for 2020, noted that carbon emissions will be reduced by another 4% by the end of the year, but it is possible that this figure will be even higher - up to 8. But whatever the numbers, they will show the largest drop in carbon emissions since World War II. Now the scientists are concluding that the largest reduction in emissions was due to reduced use of land transport.

To make a quantitative analysis of the level of CO2 emissions, the researchers examined data provided from 69 countries, including the United States and 30 Chinese provinces. The sample represents 85% of the world's population and 97% of global CO2 emissions.

Territories that were conditionally deemed responsible for global emissions of 89 percent were under some sort of blockage due to the spreading virus. Their decline in daily activities instantly affected the state of the region’s ecology. In countries where the most stringent quarantine measures are in place, traffic has fallen by 50% and air travel by 75.

In these two sectors, emissions fell by 36 and 60%, respectively. Ground transport emissions fell 43% of the total decrease in daily global emissions compared to 2019. This is due to the fact that air transportation yields less than 3% of annual carbon emissions, while ground transportation yields in almost 10 times more. In general, the scientists believe that emissions decreased by 1 million metric tons compared to last year. The largest declines are in China, the US and India.