Governments' stay at home mandate have not only kept the coronavirus at bay, in certain aspects, but they have definitely made the air around us a little bit cleaner.
Global carbon emission from fossil fuels are expected to decline by up to seven percent this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, but even this drastic decrease - the most notable since the Second World War - will barely disrupt global warming in the long term, researchers announced Tuesday.
According to the first peer-reviewed assessment of the pandemic 's impact on CO2 emissions, published in Nature Climate Change, coronavirus lockdowns led to a 17 percent worldwide reduction in carbon pollution compared to the same period last year.
The most detailed account yet released disclosed that almost 50 percent of the record drop was a result of lesser motor vehicles plying the roads. The researchers, however, are concerned that as lockdowns are eased in key cities around the world and businesses spring back to life, vehicle use will climb back up again.
The study fears that carbon emissions may soon hit higher levels compared to when there was still no coronavirus problem to wreak havoc on a global scale. The researchers urge authorities especially the lawmakers to get a deeper understanding of the moment and come up with more effective measures on personal mobility and transport in general.
The studies revealed the world has registered its most impressive decline in CO2 emissions since records started, with massive areas of the globe's economy incapacitated. When shutdowns were at its most prohibitive, in some nations emissions were down by just more than 26 percent on average. In the United Kingdom, the drop was pegged at around 30 percent, while in Australia CO2 output diminished by 28.2 percent in April.
In more specific terms, the daily worldwide carbon dioxide output has fallen from about 100 million metric tons to about 83 million metric tons early last month, compared to an average daily output last year, the studies disclosed in Nature Climate Change's May 19 report. Some of the most significant improvements are the lockdowns that forced major airlines to park their fleet of jumbo jets, cut traffic and transformed peoples' habit of consuming energy.
Four economic powerhouses -- China, the United States, European Union and India -- are responsible for two-thirds of the downturn in the first four months this year, which equates to over a billion tons of carbon dioxide. Total CO2 output from energy and factories for the current period reached a record 37 billion tons.