Has the pandemic stopped the increase of carbon dioxide in the air?
Even though carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions have dropped sharply during the pandemic, atmospheric levels of CO2 nevertheless hit a record high in May. The level was 417 parts per million (ppm), up from 415 parts per million in May, 2019. CO2 levels fluctuate during the year but peak in May before summer vegetative growth in the Northern Hemisphere removes some of it through photosynthesis.
Concentrations have continued to rise because of natural processes in forests and oceans. In order for concentrations to fall, humanity would have to slash emissions by 20 to 30 percent for at least six months, much more than the 5 to 7 percent decline this year.