From national economies to personal lives, the coronavirus pandemic of 2020 placed much of the world on pause. But one thing didn’t stop: climate change.
While global emissions declined an estimated 7% because of halts in activity that were related to COVID-19 restrictions, climate scientists project 2020 will rank among the two hottest years on record, and possibly top the list. Add to that a historic hurricane season in the Atlantic, Arctic sea ice hitting a near-record low and record-breaking wildfires in Australia, California and Siberia.
The 2020 pause delayed attention to climate at the start of a critical decade, during which global greenhouse gas emissions must be halved to keep pace toward net-zero emissions by 2050 in order to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
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