How the COVID-19 pandemic impacts the global environment positively
Updated: Aug 21
By: Luke Wang
The COVID-19 pandemic might have been known across the globe for its vast negative impact; however, the pandemic actually helped the world in one sector: protecting the environment.
In the battle against the COVID-19 pandemic, the world has hunkered down to a state of hibernation in the past few months. The idleness of the human world helped lower carbon emissions and in turn, the rapid global warming that raged the world in the past few years.
According to the ScienceNews, new estimations show that greenhouse gas emissions fell by “roughly 10%-30%.” However, scientists are not tricked by this fact; they know that the current situation would not have much of a lasting effect on climate change.
Corinne Le Quéré, a climate scientist at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England stated, “The fall in emissions we experienced during COVID-19 is temporary, and therefore it will do nothing to slow down climate change…”
In order to keep up the positive effects, scientists still urge nations to insert “green” eco-friendly procedures in their plans to reboot and recover their nation from this widespread pandemic. The scientists believe that the way the government responded can become a “turning point” in the battle against rapid climate change. By utilizing eco-friendly recovery methods, they believed this can avoid the impacts from climate change.
Greenhouse gases, especially like carbon dioxide, “hangs out” in the atmosphere for a long period, resulting in the measurement of the monthly change for the atmospheric CO2 level becoming a challenge(turning the measurement of monthly atmospheric CO2 level into a challenge for the researchers). nstead, researchers relied on a new type of data: people’s movements. By using anonymized cell phone data from Google and Apple, researchers track energy consuming activity to estimate changes in greenhouse gas and air pollutants.
The advantage of the data tracking method is found by many scientists to be effective. “Mobility data have big advantages for estimating short-term changes in emissions, Since those data are continuously updated, they can reveal daily changes in transportation emissions caused by lockdowns, it’s an innovative approach,” says Jenny Stavrakou, who works as an climate scientist at the Royal Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy in Brussels and is not involved with the data study.
Overall, the current advantage in the race against the excessive climate change should be something should be happy about. However, this temporary success can not be ignored, in the long term process, if proper actions fail to take place, the rise in global warming will not be altered. However, scientists suggest this chance shall not be wasted as a potential game changer in the fight.