26 April 2021

A year ago,  the world came to a sudden and unprecedented stop. A significant drop in human activity,  much of the world went into lockdown, factories stopped operating, cars kept their engines off and planes were grounded.

The BBC reports today, that despite this, research conducted by Piers Forster (a professor of physical climate change and director of the Priestley International Centre for Climate at the University of Leeds)  found that lockdown actually had a slight warming effect in spring 2020: as industry ground to a halt, air pollution dropped and so did the ability of aerosols, tiny particles produced by the burning of fossil fuels, to cool the planet by reflecting sunlight away from the Earth.

Looking further ahead to 2030, simple climate models have estimated that global temperatures will only be around 0.01C lower as a result of Covid-19 than if countries followed the emissions pledges they already had in place at the height of the pandemic.