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Sat Mar 28, 2020, 09:47 AM

Ralph Keeling: COVID Impact Far Too Limited To Show Up In Atmospheric CO2 Readings

Scientists are monitoring the atmosphere at a mountaintop in Hawaii for clues that the coronavirus will be the first economic shock in more than 60 years to slow a rise in carbon dioxide levels that are heating the planet. The Mauna Loa observatory at 3,397 metres is home to the Keeling Curve, tracking increasing carbon dioxide concentrations since 1958. Named after its late founder, Charles Keeling, it is widely viewed as the most iconic measure of humanity’s impact on global climate.

“There has never been an economic shock like this in the whole history of the curve,” Ralph Keeling, professor at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego and son of Charles Keeling, told Climate Home News of the impact of the coronavirus. He said scientists were now studying data from the mountain in the middle of the Pacific Ocean for signs that the economic slowdown linked to the coronavirus could reduce the rise in atmospheric carbon concentrations.


But there was a long way from reduced use of fossil fuels to a crisis that would affect carbon dioxide concentrations in the global atmosphere. Keeling estimated that global fossil fuel use would have to decline by 10% for a full year to show up in carbon dioxide concentrations. Even then, it would be a difference of only about 0.5 parts per million.

Since 1958 there have been no world wars, for instance, that might abruptly depress economic activity and emissions and show up as a measurable impact on the curve, he said. Recessions, like the 2008-09 financial crisis or even the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union, did not cause a discernible drop. And other factors that have tended to drive the curve up more steeply, such as the economic rise of China this century, were not visible as sudden events. This March 2020 data may hint at a slight slowdown in the rate of rise.
"It’s too early to say,” if it is related to coronavirus, Keeling said, adding there were big variations from year to year and that the March trend was similar to some previous years.



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Reply Ralph Keeling: COVID Impact Far Too Limited To Show Up In Atmospheric CO2 Readings (Original post)
hatrack Mar 28 OP
Locrian Mar 28 #1

Response to hatrack (Original post)

Sat Mar 28, 2020, 11:41 AM

1. we're just so fuc$ed

It takes a horrible global pandemic to get even a blip.
Meanwhile, the stockmarket /rich etc PANIC at even the hint of a slower economy.

The vultures are already working at turning this disaster into a windfall with corporate bail outs and $$ while the people get crumbs.
To actually slow the march of global catastrophe of climate change seems impossible

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