Air quality improving: Will it help with global warming?
The Greenies want huge economic shutdowns to halt global warming. Courtesy of the response to the coronavirus we now have such shutdowns. So what difference is that making to the climate? None, apparently. Global carbon dioxide levels are not budging.
It's logical that a short period would not do much to a level built up over many years but the fact that we are seeing no response at all despite the huge changes in human activities does suggest that the CO2 reduction that Greenies want may be far greater than could ever be achieved in reality
In terms of the article below, all that Greenie policies could achieve would be "noise": too small to detect above natural variability
Seattle-area air quality is a bit better as the novel coronavirus shuts down economic activity and travel.
Levels of nitrous oxide (NOX), a pollutant produced by tailpipe emissions and other sources, are being detected at generally lower values in local air-monitoring devices. And a satellite that detects emissions in the atmosphere linked to cars and trucks shows declines in pollution over the Seattle area in March 2020 compared with March 2019.
But efforts to “flatten the curve” – the rate of spread of the coronavirus — have not even dented a different curve also of great importance to humanity around the world: The Keeling Curve.
The Keeling Curve is a record of global atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration maintained by the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California at San Diego. Over the past 62 years since measurements began, the curve has gone, except for seasonal variation, in only one direction: relentlessly upward. Right through the collapse of the Soviet Union in the late 1980s. Through the global economic turndown of 2008. To record levels, without stopping. And so it continues, even now as public life grinds to a near standstill.
Ralph Keeling – his late father, Charles, invented the measurement — said even greater declines in fossil fuel use than we are presently seeing would need to be sustained for at least a year to show up clearly in global carbon dioxide levels.
But in the short term, it’s not enough to make a difference in global warming.
“A lot of people are saying this is good for the climate problem. No, not really,” said Pieter Tans, senior scientist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Global Monitoring Division. To bend the Keeling Curve, emissions from fossil-fuel burning would need to be cut by half, and then continue to decrease, Tans said. Even a 25 percent reduction would result in only a few tenths of one part per million decrease.
“It would be hard to see it in the record, to pick it out of the noise of natural variability. Maybe if we have a long downturn, maybe we begin to see something above the noise.”