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Carbon dioxide levels drop significantly during COVID-19

While coronavirus has a significant impact on the world’s productivity, there has been a reduction in the pollutants released into the atmosphere, mist notably with levels of carbon dioxide. Specifically, the first half of 2020 has seen a decline in carbon dioxide emission on a scale above those seen during financial crisis of 2008 or the oil crisis of the 1979.

Climate scientists have found that during the first six months of this year, there was 8.8 percent less carbon dioxide emitted into the atmosphere compared with same period measured in 2019.

The data used was drawn from 31 industrialized countries, and the data set consisted of vehicle traffic, passenger flights, industrial output, as well as fuel consumption data for building emissions.

The reductions are charted in the journal Nature Communications, in a paper titled “Near-real-time monitoring of global CO2 emissions reveals the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Changing perspectives

In related news, research suggests that producing high-quality content in an engaging way can assist people of different political ideologies from reaching a consensus when it comes to climate change. This was based on surveying the opinions of people before and after watching different videos.

With the study, one group watched an episode of “Years of Living Dangerously.” This was a National Geographic series covering topics like solar energy and deforestation. A second group watched a film named “Spillover: Zika, Ebola, and Beyond.” The second documentary covered the spread of diseases between animals and humans (zoonotic infections).

It was found that those with previously identified different political perspectives who viewed “Years of Living Dangerously,” then, when surveyed after the viewing, were more likely to agree on the majority of views.

The research has been published in the Journal Science Communication. The paper is titled “The Power of Being Transported: Efficacy Beliefs, Risk Perceptions, and Political Affiliation in the Context of Climate Change,”

Written By

Dr. Tim Sandle is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for science news. Tim specializes in science, technology, environmental, and health journalism. He is additionally a practising microbiologist; and an author. He is also interested in history, politics and current affairs.

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