Amidst Coronavirus Shutdown, Carbon Dioxide Decreases

Written by Kayla White (News Writer)

Coronavirus has had a variety of negative impacts and has affected many people’s lives; It has shut down businesses and has had us all quarantined. But out of all the negative outcomes of Coronavirus, there is a significantly good outcome. Since the Coronavirus has put factories and businesses out of work, fewer emissions are being polluted into the atmosphere and gradually slowing global warming.

Global warming has always been an extreme problem that the whole world has been facing and it is surprising how much a little chunk of time could reduce that. After a few months when Coronavirus was blowing up everywhere and the death toll kept rising and rising, we were finally quarantined. t wasn’t until after we were quarantined and were told to stay home that we were actually starting to do something good for our planet. The estimation of Carbon Dioxide in the atmosphere has this year will still continue to rise by 2.48 parts per million (ppm). But this increase is 0.32ppm smaller than if there had been no lockdown which would be the equivalent to 11% of the expected rise. This means that although global emissions are getting smaller, they are still continuing but at a slower rate. 

The International Energy Agency (IEA) predicts that an estimated total global reduction in fossil fuel emissions will be almost 2.6bn tonnes of CO2 (GtCO2) in the overall year of 2020. It will also have an 8% reduction, which mostly consists of the decrease in oil and coal consumption which is supposed to peak during the second quarter of this year. Using the IEA’s month-by-month predictions of the reduced demand for oil, natural gas, and coal, it shows that without the lockdown, the total amount of CO2 being produced in the atmosphere would have increased by 0.68% in 2020 when being compared to the 2019 global average. But thanks to the lockdown, there should only be an increase of 0.60%. 

If countries continue with the shelter-in-place, the emissions of CO2 would decrease even more. The U.S. Energy Information Administration estimates that U.S. emissions from gas and energy use could drop more than 7% this year. Environmental scientist at Standford University Rob Jackson contradicts saying that “This isn’t the way we want to reduce our fossil fuel emissions. We don’t want tens of millions of people being out of work as a path to decarbonizing our economy. We need systemic change in our energy infrastructure and new green technologies.” But also has shares helpful insight on what we can do that would not have these kinds of effects on our economy. “It’s as if a third of the cars on the road were suddenly electric, running on clean electricity and the air pollution is plummeting.and then finally concludes that “It’s really a remarkable experiment and it shows the benefits of clean energy.” All in all, this is the best way that we could help our planet and not damage our economy at the same time.


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