Science

Watch | Global carbon pollution falls by 17%

A video on the biggest annual drop in carbon dioxide emissions in the world

The daily levels of carbon dioxide emissions in the world have reduced by 17% during the COVID-19 pandemic. A study based on this was carried out by the Global Carbon Project. An international team of scientists said the annual estimate of carbon dioxide emissions is estimated to end up between 4% and 7% lower than 2019 levels.

This is the biggest annual drop in such emissions since World War II. It is expected to be at 7% if strict lockdown measures continue. Whereas, it will be 4% if the lockdown is lifted.

In April, the US cut its carbon dioxide levels by about one-third. China, the world’s biggest emitter of heat-trapping gases, sliced its pollution by nearly a quarter. Big emission cuts were recorded by India and Europe with 26% and 27% respectively.

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Nearly half of the emission reductions came from less transportation pollution. But, reductions in air travel accounted for only 10% of the overall pollution drop.

The world was spewing 18.7 million tonnes of carbon pollution a day in the beginning of April. Such low global emission levels have not been recorded since 2006.

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By the end of April, the carbon pollution levels had grown by 3.3 million tonnes a day, since its low point earlier in the month. The earth can avoid warming another 1.8 degrees from now, if the current annual emission cuts are maintained.

But, authors of the study say that is unlikely. If the next year returns to 2019 pollution levels, this temporary reduction will only be “a drop in the ocean.”

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Printable version | Jul 16, 2020 1:56:13 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/science/global-carbon-pollution-falls-by-17/article31677600.ece

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