During the Covid-19 lockdown, there were some that said it will help lower emissions. However, according to the annual World Meteorological Organization, that was just a blip on the radar, with no visible effect.
As a result, the new highs the world saw in 2019 are still the same and unchanged. In fact, the report found that emissions are still rising at an unprecedented rate. Since 1990, the radiative forcing (warming effect) has increased by 45% as a result of CO2.
Carbon dioxide is the biggest problem, and it accounts for four-fifths of the heat-trapping gases in our atmosphere.
Was There Really No Impact From the Lockdown?
It may be hard to believe that a global shutdown that involved virtually all sectors of our society would have no impact, but it is the truth.
While daily CO2 emissions have decreased significantly, 17% from last year, scientists have found this to be the same as natural variability. To put this another way, while emissions have fallen for this year, the total amount of heat-trapping gases is still increasing.
This is because nothing is removing the old CO2 or other gases from our atmosphere. This is why carbon capture technology is crucial in climate plans going forward.
What If the Reduction Continues?
As many nations begin closing down for a second time as the virus continues to spike, another lockdown is very likely.
The reduction in emissions is a great thing and absolutely necessary. But, we are at a point where reducing emissions isn’t enough. We need to also help natural carbon sinks thrive. Forests are a great example of this.
Trees and plants naturally absorb carbon dioxide from our atmosphere and planting more while reducing emissions is a terrific combination.
However, around the world, our forests are on fire and those losses will cost us dearly.