AGW Observer

Observations of anthropogenic global warming

Papers on COVID-19 and climate change

Posted by Ari Jokimäki on June 28, 2021

Quantifying the influence of short-term emission reductions on climate (Fyfe et al. 2021). “These estimates reveal the modest impact that temporary emission reductions associated with the COVID-19 pandemic will have on global and regional climate. Our simulations suggest that the impact of carbon dioxide and aerosol emission reductions is actually a temporary enhancement in warming rate. However, our results demonstrate that even large emission reductions applied for a short duration have only a small and likely undetectable impact.” J. C. Fyfe, V. Kharin, N. Swart, G. M. Flato, M. Sigmond, N. P. Gillett (2021). Science Advances 7(10):eabf7133.

The Climate Response to Emissions Reductions Due to COVID-19: Initial Results From CovidMIP (Jones et al. 2021). “We find model consensus on reduced aerosol amounts (particularly over southern and eastern Asia) and associated increases in surface shortwave radiation levels. However, any impact on near-surface temperature or rainfall during 2020–2024 is extremely small and is not detectable in this initial analysis.” Jones, C. D., Hickman, J. E., Rumbold, S. T., Walton, J., Lamboll, R. D., Skeie, R. B., et al. (2021). The climate response to emissions reductions due to COVID-19: Initial results from CovidMIP. Geophysical Research Letters, 48, e2020GL091883.

Climate Impacts of COVID‐19 Induced Emission Changes (Gettelman et al. 2021). “The average overall Effective Radiative Forcing (ERF) peaks at +0.29 ± 0.15 Wm−2 in spring 2020.” … “However, the aerosol changes are the largest contribution to radiative forcing and temperature changes as a result of COVID‐19 affected emissions, larger than ozone, CO2 and contrail effects.” Gettelman, A., Lamboll, R., Bardeen, C. G., Forster, P. M., & Watson‐Parris, D. (2021). Climate impacts of COVID‐19 induced emission changes. Geophysical Research Letters, 48, e2020GL091805.

Current and future global climate impacts resulting from COVID-19 (Forster et al. 2020). “As a result, we estimate that the direct effect of the pandemic-driven response will be negligible, with a cooling of around 0.01 ± 0.005 °C by 2030 compared to a baseline scenario that follows current national policies.” Forster, P.M., Forster, H.I., Evans, M.J. et al. Current and future global climate impacts resulting from COVID-19. Nat. Clim. Chang. 10, 913–919 (2020).

Satellite-based estimates of decline and rebound in China’s CO2 emissions during COVID-19 pandemic (Zheng et al. 2020). “Between January and April 2020, China’s CO2 emissions fell by 11.5% compared to the same period in 2019, but emissions have since rebounded to pre-pandemic levels before the coronavirus outbreak at the beginning of January 2020 owing to the fast economic recovery in provinces where industrial activity is concentrated.” Bo Zheng, Guannan Geng, Philippe Ciais, Steven J. Davis, Randall V. Martin et al. (2020). Science Advances 6(49):eabd4998. DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abd4998

Fast Climate Responses to Aerosol Emission Reductions During the COVID‐19 Pandemic (Yang et al. 2020). “Assuming emission changes during lockdown, back‐to‐work and post‐lockdown stages of COVID‐19, climate model simulations show a surface warming over continental regions of the Northern Hemisphere. In January–March, there was an anomalous warming of 0.05–0.15 K in eastern China, and the surface temperature increase was 0.04–0.07 K in Europe, eastern United States, and South Asia in March–May.” Yang, Y., Ren, L., Li, H., Wang, H., Wang, P., Chen, L., et al. (2020). Fast climate responses to aerosol emission reductions during the COVID‐19 pandemic. Geophysical Research Letters, 47, e2020GL089788.

Minimal Climate Impacts From Short‐Lived Climate Forcers Following Emission Reductions Related to the COVID‐19 Pandemic (Weber et al. 2020). “Overall, the changes in ozone and aerosol direct effects (neglecting aerosol‐cloud interactions which were statistically insignificant but whose response warrants future investigation) yield a radiative forcing of −33 to −78 mWm−2.” Weber, J., Shin, Y. M., Staunton Sykes, J., Archer‐Nicholls, S., Abraham, N. L., & Archibald, A. T. (2020). Minimal climate impacts from short‐lived climate forcers following emission reductions related to the COVID‐19 pandemic. Geophysical Research Letters, 47, e2020GL090326.

Near-real-time monitoring of global CO2 emissions reveals the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic (Liu et al. 2020). “The key result is an abrupt 8.8% decrease in global CO2 emissions (−1551 Mt CO2) in the first half of 2020 compared to the same period in 2019. The magnitude of this decrease is larger than during previous economic downturns or World War II. The timing of emissions decreases corresponds to lockdown measures in each country. By July 1st, the pandemic’s effects on global emissions diminished as lockdown restrictions relaxed and some economic activities restarted,…” Liu, Z., Ciais, P., Deng, Z. et al. Near-real-time monitoring of global CO2 emissions reveals the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Nat Commun 11, 5172 (2020).

Temporary reduction in daily global CO2 emissions during the COVID-19 forced confinement (Le Quéré et al. 2020). “Daily global CO2 emissions decreased by –17% (–11 to –25% for ±1σ) by early April 2020 compared with the mean 2019 levels, just under half from changes in surface transport. At their peak, emissions in individual countries decreased by –26% on average.” Le Quéré, C., Jackson, R.B., Jones, M.W. et al. Temporary reduction in daily global CO2 emissions during the COVID-19 forced confinement. Nat. Clim. Chang. 10, 647–653 (2020).


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