The government asking everyone to stay home has given the planet an unusual breath of fresh air: scientists are saying greenhouse gas emissions could hit their lowest rates in over a decade.
Ever since people cut back on unnecessary travel, the BBC reports that New York is experiencing a notable decrease in carbon dioxide, methane, and carbon monoxide emissions. Air pollution has decreased as well — mirroring the changes that happened in places like China, which largely shut down during its own coronavirus outbreak.
Across The Board
In New York, there’s been between a five and ten percent drop in atmospheric carbon dioxide.
And carbon monoxide emissions linked to cars have been cut in half ever since people started staying home as much as possible, according to BBC.
While researchers speculate that the various quarantines happening around the world could lead to a dip in global emissions, that’s not even remotely the same as suggesting that the global environment and climate have somehow gotten back on track.
“Governments now have to be really cautious on how they re-stimulate their economies,” University of East Anglia researcher Corinne Le Quéré told BBC, “mindful of not locking in fossil fuels again.”
READ MORE: Coronavirus: Air pollution and CO2 fall rapidly as virus spreads [BBC]
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