Ocean Response to COVID‐Related CO2 Emission Reductions

New research uses PMEL observations to study how temporary emission reductions impact ocean CO2

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a 6.4% decrease in global CO2 emissions in 2020, with average daily emission declines peaking at −26% in individual countries. Using models and observations, new research published in Geophysical Research Letters finds that it is nearly impossible to detect a change in surface ocean carbon due to temporary COVID-related emission reductions.

Looking to future climate mitigation strategies, gradual year-to-year CO2 emission reductions, like under the scenario limiting warming to 1.5oC, would also be challenging to distinguish from natural variability given our existing observing system and ocean modeling capabilities.  Read more about this research, led by the University of Colorado at Boulder, here