We are the first generation to feel the effect of climate change and the last generation that can do something about it - Barack Obama

“We are the first generation to feel the effect of climate change and the last generation that can do something about it.”

– Barack Obama

These words rightly said by Mr. Barack Obama hold true more than ever as the effects of climate change have become more observable. How evident is Covid impact on climate change-

When we think about the industrial revolution and the days proceeding it all we can think about is rapid growth in technology and an unprecedented ease in our lifestyles. This rapid industrialization came at the cost of the slow and hidden deterioration of our planet. This slow but now observable changes have been now finally acknowledged and are referred to effects of climate change. It is human nature to understand the worth of a thing after we have lost it. Exactly like the time we have right now to save our planet. This blog discusses covid impact on climate change.

What is Climate Change?

What is Climate Change, Climate Change meaning, Climate Change definition

Climate change is a broad term that refers to changes in the Earth’s climates, a local, regional or global scale. It is because of the large-scale impact of this phenomenon. Climate change can also refer to the effects of these changes. In recent decades, the term ‘climate change’ is most often used to describe changes in the Earth’s climate due to human activity since the pre-Industrial period, particularly the extensive burning of fossil fuels, removal of forests and much more of which directly results in a relatively rapid increase in carbon dioxide concentration in the Earth’s atmosphere. Climate change is closely monitored by agencies like NASA and other National/International organizations.

Global warming, another term that is often used interchangeably with climate change, in in fact an effect of the later. The increase in carbon dioxide content in the atmosphere directly leads to an average increase in global temperatures, which is global warming. The Earth is adaptable but with the exponential increase in industry, the planet’s adaptability has taken a toll and Earth as a whole is suffering. Glaciers have shrunk, Ice and freshwater reserves are deteriorating and water levels in the oceans have started to consume the lands.

Covid impact on climate change:

Climate Change is a phenomenon that directly affects our mundane and normal lives even though we might not notice. Climate change is real and slowly but definitely getting worse. Unprecedently, while the whole world was focused on the recent pandemic situation that wrecked the notion of what our daily lives looked like, it had its benefits as well. Due to the overall decrease in human outdoor activities, there has been a visible decrease in global carbon emission levels when compared to previous years in some recent decades. It will be safe to assume that while the human race was focus on our problems the planet as a whole got a breathing space and recovered a bit. COVID’s impact on climate change was a little more than visible in 2020 trends.

Covid Impact on Climate change - Snow-capped Himalayas visible from Uttar Pradesh’s Saharanpur

Source: the Himalayas are visible for the first time from distant regions due to dramatic reduction in air pollution amid pandemic.

The change is not extensive enough to mark a positive decrease to the huge amount of damage that human activities have dealt to the environment over the years. Meanwhile, facts tell us that it is an improvement even after the past grim situations. News like this shows we still have time to turn the tide unlike common negative reports on environment. The strict restriction of outdoor movement that was enforced as a measure to stop the spread of the virus, in turn has shown to us that human actions indeed impact our environment greatly.

Covid impact on Climate Change - Limitations on travelling has reduced travelling carbon footprint of individuals significantly for quite some time

The COVID pandemic decreased the travel footprint of humans unprecedently creating observable changes to affecting factors and in turn to climate change.

Greenhouse emission levels have dropped largely to normal levels for most countries. In fact, the lockdown might have even contributed to the recent recovery of the Ozone hole over the Arctic. While the actual recovery occurred due to meteorological reasons, the lockdown played a hand in the correct conditions being met for this to happen. The extent of air pollution in the past few decades have grown exponentially. Unlike the past records, air quality index during pandemic was remarkable as many countries marked the least pollution in years.

The Outlook:

But the impact of Covid is not only due the lockdown imposed widely across the many countries. There are other effects that have been caused due to Covid. These effects will continue to affect the overall global climate change situation. Some of these effects are such that they will only be evident later.

One such effect is the effect on economy. Economy widely affects the direction of our world and any impact on it is seen in every field. Though still under study, early analysis shows that this effect on climate change might be a positive impact. As the economic situation over all get better countries will have more capital to invest on renewable resources in turn benefitting the fight against climate change.

The decrease in human mobility also led to a positive effect on the wildlife across the globe. Many species have started to explore a little farther than they usually would due to the human suppression that existed. Due to the sudden absence of human activity, animals started to move freely improving the ecological cycle for many regions. As humans found themselves caught within their concrete enclosures, the wildlife extensively enjoyed a healthier environment to prosper in.

The improvement in air quality was widely noticed as many people posted on social media about their local experiences. Just as sudden and extensive lockdown was, the changes that came with it were equally evident and notable. This whole global event and its impact go on to show the impact human activity can have on the environment. It gives us a powerful hope that is, if we all come together, we can indeed save the planet.

Read more about: India’s stand on climate change

Is climate change just a consequence of human activities? 

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