UCI News

Coronavirus is having a major impact on the environment, with reduced CO2, better air quality and animals roaming city streets

Newsweek, March 24, 2020

March 24, 2020

Coronavirus is having a major impact on the environment, with reduced CO2, better air quality and animals roaming city streets

Steven Davis, an Associate Professor in the Department of Earth System Science at the University of California, Irvine, said that the economy and emissions are tightly coupled. “In recent years, we’ve emitted close to 500 tons of CO2 for every $1 million of global GDP—for example, 40 billion tons of CO2 for $88 trillion in 2019,” Davis told Newsweek. “If this ratio holds, a decline in world GDP can be expected to cause a proportional decrease in global CO2 emissions.”… “Past recessions haven’t stopped people from commuting, so we haven’t ever seen the huge and almost overnight improvements in air quality that we’re now seeing in places like Southern California right now.”