Global lockdowns, have lowered emissions but longer-term changes needed, say scientists, as 2020 could be the hottest year on record
According to meteorologists, this year is currently on course to be the hottest year the world has seen since records began, who estimate that there is a 50% to 75% chance that the record set four years ago will be broken in 2020.
Despite these global lockdown measures having temporarily reduced air pollution, the climate hasn’t cooled at all because of this, scientists say we need deeper, longer-term measures put in place to ensure any cooling of the climate.
Heat records have already been broken from the Antarctic to Greenland since January, which comes as a suprise to many scientists because 2020 is not a so called ‘El Niño year’, a phenomenon usually associated with high temperatures during the El Niño–Southern Oscillation.
Karsten Haustein, a climate scientist at the University of Oxford, has said that the current state of global warming is moving closer to being 1.2C hotter that pre-industrial levels.
He said that from tracking the levels online, he could show that the increase in levels by 1.14C of warming due to gaps in data, but that this could potentially rise to 1.17C, or even higher once the latest figures were incorporated.
“The climate crisis continues unabated,”
“The emissions will go down this year, but the concentrations keep on rising. We are very unlikely to be able to notice any slowdown in the built-up of atmospheric GHG levels. But we have the unique chance now to reconsider our choices and use the corona crisis as a catalyst for more sustainable means of transport and energy production (via incentives, taxes, carbon prices etc).”
Despite the coronavirus pandemic having had at least a temporary effect on the reduction of the amount of new carbon emissions globally, he said the build-up of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere is still a huge concern for the climate.
January this year, has been the hottest January on record, leaving many Arctic nations in the world without the usual snow in their capital cities.
This February, a research base in the Antarctic, recorded temperatures of over 20C (68F) for the first time ever on the southern continent. Towards the other pole, Qaanaaq, in Greenland, set a record for temperatures in April when they registered 6C on Sunday.
The daily maximum UK temperature for April so far is 3.1C above average, with records for heat set in Cornwall, Dyfed and Gwynedd.
Grahame Madge, a climate spokesman for the Met Office has said:
“A reliance and trust in science to inform action from governments and society to solve a global emergency are exactly the measures needed to seed in plans to solve the next crisis facing mankind: climate change.”
This news comes after the coronavirus outbreak had already caused the UN to postpone the COP26 international climate conference, that was set to be an important global discussion countries that would have hopefully gotten countries back on track to avoid climate breakdown, dealing a large blow to progress for climate action.
Breaking News Today has also covered how the current lockdown measures effecting this years Earth Day event, that marked its 50th Anniversary of promoting climate activism.