Is the Corona Crisis good or bad for the climate?

by Joana Kollert 

A few days ago, at the end of March, it snowed! Having never experienced snow this late in Hamburg and with the knowledge that 2019 was the second warmest year on record after 2016, my first thought was: this must be the direct cooling effect due to the COVID-19 induced industrial shutdown.

I felt a strange sense of righteousness, as if all climate change skeptics and politicians could now no longer deny the link between economic growth and global warming. This is of course an extremely oversimplified analysis; it is impossible to link two unexpected snow days in Hamburg with a global slowing down in industrial production . Moreover, climate change is a statistically significant variation in “average weather” over a period of 30 years, such that we cannot make any scientifically sound connections between a decrease in greenhouse gas emissions lasting but a few months and global warming.

Nevertheless, the economic shutdown has led to some directly observable environmental benefits.

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Was the “failure” of the Copenhagen climate summit key to expected “success” in Paris?

 

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Blog by Professor Hans von Storch

Professor Hans von Storch is a highly distinguished ocean and climate scientist. He has written 20 books and sits on numerous climate advisory boards. He usually writes for the climate blog: Die Klimazwiebel

Recently, a journalist asked me in passing – which was the best COP so far, which the worst?

Honestly, I have not been a good observer of these meetings. All I know there were many and the next is #21. There was Copenhagen, sometimes labelled Hopenhagen by enthusiasts. It was COP15 and the year was 2009. Copenhagen, the last exit, it was called, the last chance for instituting a binding policy which would make “us” limit global anthropogenic (human-caused) climate change to a stable 2 deg in 2100.

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