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The Pandemic's Effect On Climate-Changing Pollution Was ‘Just A Tiny Blip'

Added 11-23-20 05:16:04am EST - “To the atmosphere, this year’s “return to nature” ” - Huffpost.com

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Posted By TheNewsCommenter: From Huffpost.com: “The Pandemic’s Effect On Climate-Changing Pollution Was ‘Just A Tiny Blip’”. Below is an excerpt from the article.

As nations went into lockdown to contain the spread of COVID-19, factories halted and cars sat idle, clearing the skies above polluted cities and sending climate-changing emissions to historic lows. 

But the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere ― the accumulation of past and current emissions ― remained virtually unchanged, according to the World Meteorological Organization’s annual estimate released Monday. 

“The lockdown-related fall in emissions is just a tiny blip on the long-term graph,” WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas said in a statement. “We need a sustained flattening of the curve.”

Concentrations of carbon dioxide, the biggest and most significant driver of climate change, soared past 415 parts per million last year, a level never before experienced in human history. The pandemic-induced lockdowns at the start of this year reduced daily global CO2 emissions by up to 17% compared to the mean daily level in 2019, the study found. But the total worldwide reduction for the year is likely only between 4.2% and 7.5% compared to the previous year. 

At a global scale, the research concluded, “an emission reduction of this magnitude will not cause atmospheric CO2 levels to decrease; they will merely increase at a slightly reduced rate.” 

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