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Coronavirus: The immediate effect on climate change

(Climate Action, 30 Mar 2020) COVID-19 has suspended normality across the globe. With everyone's attention now focused on fighting the virus, what does this mean for the fight against climate change?

The pandemic is changing how we live and is subsequently having a profound impact on the environment. An immediate effect the virus has had on the climate is a reduction in global Co2 emissions. 

One silver lining to the current global crisis as a result of COVID-19 is the improvements in air quality due to the drop in pollution from transport.

This was observed first by NASA as satellite images showed a dramatic decline in pollution levels over China, thought to be due to the economic slowdown caused by the outbreak of the virus. On January 23rd, the Chinese government put Wuhan and other major cities on lockdown in an attempt to contain the virus resulting in a standstill of normal life. 

Fei Liu, Air Quality Researcher for NASA’s Goodard space flight centre, told the Guardian: “This is the first time I have seen such a dramatic drop-off over such a wide area for a specific event.”

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Climate Action, 30 Mar 2020: Coronavirus: The immediate effect on climate change