Pandemic Disruptions Fail To Stem Global Warming, Decade to 2020 Hottest Ever

That even such a massive disruption caused by the pandemic barely made a dent on carbon emissions simply points to the need to take a deeper relook at the processes, supply chains and more that power humanity today. Like Energy, other major contributors like Agriculture and industrial processes are next .

Don’t let the few cold snaps this winter fool you. The march to an ever hotter Earth continues unabated.  And even the Corona pandemic, with the massive disruption it caused in movement and energy consumption initially, in the end, could not prevent 2020 from being one of the hottest years of the decade, though marginally behind 2016, the hottest year of the decade, with 2019, a close third.

With seven of the warmest years since record taking began in earnest in the 19th century being recorded in the past decade, the decade ending 2020 has easily become the hottest ever recorded. Atmospheric carbon dioxide, considered the clearest indicator of the warming,  has reached a level not seen in at least 3 million years.

One of the reasons the global warming is possibly still not appreciated well enough for the risks it is adding on is the fact that warming is not even, with some regions warming up a lot more. South Asia for instance, including most of India, is one of those regions where the impact is already higher, and future consequences that much more dire. For now, that is still leading to more extreme weather ‘events’, as they are called, be it hurricanes in the Atlantic, the Bay of Bengal, more intense and early wildfires heatwaves, or the most surprising of all, cyclones in the Arabian Sea.

Interestingly, 2020 got no help from El Nino, the pacific ocean centered phenomenon that leads to a hotter summer, and disrupts monsoons in India usually. In fact, El Niño’s cooling counterpart, La Niña, made an appearance in August.  And yet we had the second hottest year on record in 2020.  xt reports from the United Nations-backed Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change expected this year and next.

It will surprise a lot of people that CO2 emissions have recovered so quickly, and sharply, from the initial dip caused by the freezing of global travel and more due to the pandemic. So even as the pandemic rages on, our energy, supply and other chains are so deeply tied to carbon emissions that emissions have recovered way more faster than anyone  would like, despite the heavy economic cost paid.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) estimated  that CO₂ emissions fell about 8% in 2020  compared to 2019, equivalent to the pollution level in 2010,

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