A new study found that the drop in carbon dioxide emissions over the course of the pandemic has literally disappeared in a cloud of smoke. 

A group of scientists who track heat-trapping gasses that can contribute to climate change noticed carbon dioxide emissions levels a bit under 2019 levels. Emissions were reported to be down during the pandemic due to more people staying inside.

But this year has shown a 4.9% increase. This is believed to be the result of China’s increased pollution.

While other countries picked up where they mostly left off, China went above and beyond their original output of pollution.

A report showed that emissions were 7% higher this year in China while many other countries around the world, including the US, created fewer emissions than in 2019.

This increase in emissions mostly came from burning coal and natural gas, as well as the fact that China came out of lockdowns sooner than the rest of the world.

This increase in pollution has scientists fearing for the future as climate change is not being taken seriously enough. A pandemic is not enough to reverse the damage done, it must be actively changed by individuals.

With the way things are looking right now, Breakthrough Institute climate director Zeke Hausfather said, “There is a good chance that 2022 will set a new record for global CO2 emissions from fossil fuels.”

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