Geology

Why the epidemic could not slow down climate change?

Story Highlights
  • Climate change is accelerating desertification
  • The effects of climate change are becoming clear
  • The epidemic limited human movement, limited air traffic
  • Increasing deforestation, rising temperatures
  • Integrated investment needed to address the effects of climate change

In 2019, the existence of Covid-19 was detected for the first time in Wuhan, China. Due to its high infectivity, it spreads rapidly to all parts of the world, and states have to take conservative measures to protect their citizens because there are no vaccines. Due to the fact that the virus is transmitted through humans, initiatives are taken to reduce the rate of human-to-human contact, and lockdown is imposed.

On the other hand, the issue of global warming has been discussed for the last few decades, as well as the possible disasters of climate change due to global warming. Industries are shut down by imposing a lockdown during epidemics, reducing the use of fossil fuels. The process was seen as positive to avoid the risks of climate change, the lockdown was thought to slow down the pace of climate change. In reality his reflection was not seen very much.

In March of this year, Professor Pierce Froster, director of the International Center for Climate at the University of Leeds, wrote an article on the subject in BBC Future. That is why his article is being highlighted for the readers of SciTech.

Potential disasters as a result of lockdowns and climate change

March 11, 2020; The World Health Organization has declared the coronavirus a global epidemic as it spreads around the world. The average global temperature has risen by 1.2 degrees Celsius since the pre-industrial revolution. As a result of the declaration of the epidemic, the economic activities of the people suddenly decreased, the industries closed down, the movement of vehicles decreased, the number of flights decreased.

Coordinated efforts are needed to address the effects of climate change

Since then there have been various changes in the course of events, but some unexpected new and unexpected insights have come before us through climate scientists. Through them we learned three main thiworked

1. Climate science has actually worked

The epidemic has made us think for the first time about greenhouse gas emissions, especially the amount of carbon-di-oxide we are emitting through various industrial plants. In most countries, the lockdown begins in March 2020. At the time, environmentalists had no idea how much carbon would be emitted by 2020. As a result, climate scientists have to create new data to determine how much carbon will be emitted in 2020.

By May 2020, climate scientists were able to determine that amount. Climate scientists estimate that by 2020, carbon emissions could be reduced by as much as 6 percent, given the lockdown policies of governments and deviations from normal human activities. Later, the Global Carbon Project also supported the study. This issue was followed by another study led by me (led by Pierce Froster), which used human movement data collected from Google and Apple. The study sought to differentiate carbon-dioxide emissions from other populations, considering changes in the use of fossil fuels during epidemics in twelve populated areas, taking into account changes in cement production.

The latest movement data from Google users shows that although human movement has not returned to its pre-epidemic state, human movement has returned to almost normal levels. This is the realization of our carbon emissions. With the end of the lockdown, carbon emissions continue to rise, with the second half of 2020 signaling a return to normal. The same trend has been followed during the second wave of epidemics in 2021.

In addition, the Carbon Monitor Project has developed a method of estimating carbon-dioxide emissions closer to reality in the midst of an epidemic, through which valuable data is being passed on to researchers working in meteorology.

2. Climate change has not had much of an impact

The epidemic shut down industries, reduced economic activity, and reduced human movement. As a result, there was an expectation that the new reality created by the epidemic might slow down the process of climate change, slowing global warming. But statistics show that the new reality created by the epidemic has had no effect on the lightning speed of climate change in the short term, and is unlikely to have any effect in the long run.

In the spring of 2020, the sky was relatively clear, relatively calm. But my team’s research says the spring was relatively warm in the mid-2020 lockdown. The closure of factories during lockdowns reduces air pollution, reduces the amount of fossil fuels used, and allows excess heat to escape. But despite the reality created by the epidemic, the average temperature rose 0.03 degrees Celsius last year. 0.03 degrees Celsius may be a small amount, but it is worrying news for us in the reality of the epidemic for the time being.

Looking at the post-2030 period, some of the simplest models developed by researchers suggest that the way fossil fuels were used in industry before the epidemic, carbon emissions, and the post-epidemic constraints continue to slow climate change. Will not be able to. This will reduce the temperature rise to a maximum of 0.01 degrees Celsius. These claims made by researchers through the general model have since been substantiated by some of the more complex models.

Over the past few years, many globally influential countries have pledged to slow climate change, reiterating their commitments at various conferences. But they are still not enough to deal with the devastating effects of climate change. As long as economically powerful countries continue to emit carbon in this way, we will have to survive the threats of climate change on Earth. And the sooner countries take concerted action, the greater the risk of a final deviation from our normal lives as a result of climate change.

3. Lockdown is not a measure of climate change

Despite the reduction in human economic activity and person-centered mobility through lockdowns, the manifestation of the symptoms of climate change has not slowed down, but has proved to be unstable. Like Covid-19, climate change will first and foremost hit the high-risk areas and endanger the weaker sections of society. To prevent this catastrophe we need to reduce the rate of carbon emissions, bypassing the social, political and economic realities created by the lockdown. We need to find solutions that ensure the well-being of mankind, ensure good health, create equality. It is still important to take initiatives to address the risks of climate change at the individual and institutional levels, as well as conduct important business activities. But tackling the risks of climate change will depend on structural changes in the economy.

My team of researchers and I believe that investing 1.2 percent of global GDP in addressing climate change risks and incorporating structural reforms into the economy could keep global warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius and avoid the potential catastrophic effects of climate change.

Unfortunately, we have not been able to get close to the amount of green investment that was needed to avoid the effects of climate change. However, there is potential for investment in this sector in the coming days. It will always be important to direct these future investments in the right direction. This sector requires relatively more investment, but the potential cost is many times higher.

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