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Fast Climate Responses to Aerosol Emission Reductions During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Presentation Date
Wednesday, December 9, 2020 at 4:00am



The reduced human activities and associated decreases in aerosol emissions during the COVID-19 pandemic are expected to affect climate. Assuming emission changes during lockdown, back-to-work and post-lockdown stages of COVID-19, climate model simulations show a surface warming over continental regions of the Northern Hemisphere. In January–March, there was an anomalous warming of 0.05–0.15 K in eastern China, and the surface temperature increase was 0.04–0.07 K in Europe, eastern U.S. and South Asia in March–May. The longer the emission reductions undergo, the warmer the climate would become. The emission reductions explain the observed temperature increases of 10–40% over eastern China relative to 2019. A southward shift of the ITCZ is also seen in the simulations. This study provides an insight into the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on global and regional climate and implications for immediate actions to mitigate fast global warming.

Funding Program Area(s)