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      Global patterns of daily CO2 emissions reductions in the first year of COVID-19

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          Abstract

          Day-to-day changes in CO 2 emissions from human activities, in particular fossil-fuel combustion and cement production, reflect a complex balance of influences from seasonality, working days, weather and, most recently, the COVID-19 pandemic. Here, we provide a daily CO 2 emissions dataset for the whole year of 2020, calculated from inventory and near-real-time activity data. We find a global reduction of 6.3% (2,232 MtCO 2) in CO 2 emissions compared with 2019. The drop in daily emissions during the first part of the year resulted from reduced global economic activity due to the pandemic lockdowns, including a large decrease in emissions from the transportation sector. However, daily CO 2 emissions gradually recovered towards 2019 levels from late April with the partial reopening of economic activity. Subsequent waves of lockdowns in late 2020 continued to cause smaller CO 2 reductions, primarily in western countries. The extraordinary fall in emissions during 2020 is similar in magnitude to the sustained annual emissions reductions necessary to limit global warming at 1.5 °C. This underscores the magnitude and speed at which the energy transition needs to advance.

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          Temporary reduction in daily global CO2 emissions during the COVID-19 forced confinement

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            Global Carbon Budget 2020

            Abstract. Accurate assessment of anthropogenic carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and their redistribution among the atmosphere, ocean, and terrestrial biosphere in a changing climate – the “global carbon budget” – is important to better understand the global carbon cycle, support the development of climate policies, and project future climate change. Here we describe and synthesize data sets and methodology to quantify the five major components of the global carbon budget and their uncertainties. Fossil CO2 emissions (EFOS) are based on energy statistics and cement production data, while emissions from land-use change (ELUC), mainly deforestation, are based on land use and land-use change data and bookkeeping models. Atmospheric CO2 concentration is measured directly and its growth rate (GATM) is computed from the annual changes in concentration. The ocean CO2 sink (SOCEAN) and terrestrial CO2 sink (SLAND) are estimated with global process models constrained by observations. The resulting carbon budget imbalance (BIM), the difference between the estimated total emissions and the estimated changes in the atmosphere, ocean, and terrestrial biosphere, is a measure of imperfect data and understanding of the contemporary carbon cycle. All uncertainties are reported as ±1σ. For the last decade available (2010–2019), EFOS was 9.6 ± 0.5 GtC yr−1 excluding the cement carbonation sink (9.4 ± 0.5 GtC yr−1 when the cement carbonation sink is included), and ELUC was 1.6 ± 0.7 GtC yr−1. For the same decade, GATM was 5.1 ± 0.02 GtC yr−1 (2.4 ± 0.01 ppm yr−1), SOCEAN 2.5 ± 0.6 GtC yr−1, and SLAND 3.4 ± 0.9 GtC yr−1, with a budget imbalance BIM of −0.1 GtC yr−1 indicating a near balance between estimated sources and sinks over the last decade. For the year 2019 alone, the growth in EFOS was only about 0.1 % with fossil emissions increasing to 9.9 ± 0.5 GtC yr−1 excluding the cement carbonation sink (9.7 ± 0.5 GtC yr−1 when cement carbonation sink is included), and ELUC was 1.8 ± 0.7 GtC yr−1, for total anthropogenic CO2 emissions of 11.5 ± 0.9 GtC yr−1 (42.2 ± 3.3 GtCO2). Also for 2019, GATM was 5.4 ± 0.2 GtC yr−1 (2.5 ± 0.1 ppm yr−1), SOCEAN was 2.6 ± 0.6 GtC yr−1, and SLAND was 3.1 ± 1.2 GtC yr−1, with a BIM of 0.3 GtC. The global atmospheric CO2 concentration reached 409.85 ± 0.1 ppm averaged over 2019. Preliminary data for 2020, accounting for the COVID-19-induced changes in emissions, suggest a decrease in EFOS relative to 2019 of about −7 % (median estimate) based on individual estimates from four studies of −6 %, −7 %, −7 % (−3 % to −11 %), and −13 %. Overall, the mean and trend in the components of the global carbon budget are consistently estimated over the period 1959–2019, but discrepancies of up to 1 GtC yr−1 persist for the representation of semi-decadal variability in CO2 fluxes. Comparison of estimates from diverse approaches and observations shows (1) no consensus in the mean and trend in land-use change emissions over the last decade, (2) a persistent low agreement between the different methods on the magnitude of the land CO2 flux in the northern extra-tropics, and (3) an apparent discrepancy between the different methods for the ocean sink outside the tropics, particularly in the Southern Ocean. This living data update documents changes in the methods and data sets used in this new global carbon budget and the progress in understanding of the global carbon cycle compared with previous publications of this data set (Friedlingstein et al., 2019; Le Quéré et al., 2018b, a, 2016, 2015b, a, 2014, 2013). The data presented in this work are available at https://doi.org/10.18160/gcp-2020 (Friedlingstein et al., 2020).
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              Unexpected air pollution with marked emission reductions during the COVID-19 outbreak in China

              The absence of motor vehicle traffic and suspended manufacturing during the COVID-19 pandemic in China produced a unique experiment to assess the efficiency of air pollution mitigation. Up to 90% reduction of certain emissions during the city-lockdown period can be identified from satellite and ground-based observations. Unexpectedly, extreme particulate matter levels simultaneously occurred in northern China. Our synergistic observation analyses and model simulations show that anomalously high humidity promoted aerosol heterogeneous chemistry, along with stagnant airflow and uninterrupted emissions from power plants and petrochemical facilities, contributing to severe haze formation. Also, because of non-linear production chemistry and titration of ozone in winter, reduced nitrogen oxides resulted in ozone enhancement in urban areas, further increasing the atmospheric oxidizing capacity and facilitating secondary aerosol formation.
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                Journal
                Nature Geoscience
                Nat. Geosci.
                Springer Science and Business Media LLC
                1752-0894
                1752-0908
                June 30 2022
                Article
                10.1038/s41561-022-00965-8
                1bf362dd-4506-4910-8831-3925a614971e
                © 2022

                https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0

                https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0

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