German scientists have found out the real impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the global climate. As it turned out, the reduction in carbon emissions due to quarantine measures has not yet affected the CO2 concentration in the Earth's atmosphere.
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Researchers at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology conducted a thorough analysis of data on gas concentrations in different layers of the earth's atmosphere, which were collected using highly accurate infrared spectrometers. The minor changes they identified, which were caused by the pandemic, turned out to be quite difficult to detect due to the continuation of harmful emissions of an anthropogenic (human-related) nature. In this regard, it was decided to compare the data obtained with the forecasts for the accumulation of carbon in the planet's atmosphere for the current year.
According to expert estimates, the pandemic did lead to some decrease in carbon dioxide emissions by about 8% due to a noticeable drop in the intensity of road traffic in many countries and a decrease in the number of air travel. However, the authors of the report emphasize, in order to reduce the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere, the corresponding restrictions must be maintained for decades, and even in this case, such steps may well turn out to be insufficiently effective.
According to experts, the main goal of the Paris Agreement on climate, which is to limit global warming at around 1.5 degrees above the levels recorded in the period before the industrial boom, can be achieved only through significant reductions in emissions. According to them, every year humanity should reduce the volume of harmful emissions into the atmosphere by the same 8% that were recorded in 2020 with a significant reduction in industrial production.