Since the coronavirus outbreak forced everyone to stay in their homes due to border restrictions, lockdowns, and an overall severe reduction in activities, it has caused the global carbon emissions to drop rapidly.
But by how much? According to a new study published in the journal Nature Climate Change, daily carbon dioxide emissions around the world have decreased by around 18.7 million tons compared to the average daily emissions of the same time last year. The daily carbon levels we see right now haven't been seen since 2006, according to the study. As a whole, the lockdown measures put in almost around the globe have contributed to an estimated 17% decline in daily carbon emissions.
So why has this happened? The lockdown measures forced people to stay at home so the world saw a large reduction in the amount of vehicles that were on the road, industrial activities, air travel, and other forms of transportation. Even though this is fantastic news, scientists have estimated that even this considerable decrease in carbon emissions won't have a long-term effect once countries reopen and return back to their normal way of living.
Corinne Le Quere, a professor of climate change science at the University of East Anglia in the U.K, said "Globally, we haven't seen a drop this big ever, and at the yearly level, you would have to go back to World War II to see such a big drop in emissions. But this is not the way to tackle climate change - it's not going to happen by forcing behavior changes on people. We need to tackle it by helping people move to more sustainable ways of living."
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