COVID19 Effect on CO2 levels

Previously I have published articles showing that CO2 change does not cause temperature change but the other way around. Temperature change actually leads CO2 change by 6 months. Which Causes which out of Atmospheric Temperature and CO2 content?

The covid19 pandemic is a terrible thing for the world, but does give a unique opportunity to study industrial production effect on CO2 levels. It has been reported that pollution has dropped by huge amounts over China and then Europe as lockdowns brought industrial production almost to a halt. In America the FED has predicted a 50% drop in GDP in the second  quarter of 2020. See below for links.

It seems safe to assume that this will mean a drastic reduction in human produced CO2. If the theory that humans cause CO2 change and temperature change is correct, then we would expect a big drop in CO2 levels to happen immediately. If my (and others) theory that temperature change causes CO2 change then CO2 levels would not be expected to respond in the same way.

Here is the historical level of CO2 in ppm as measured in Hawaii from 30 March 1958 until 26 March 2020. Clearly CO2 has grown dramatically and at an accelerating rate. There is an obvious yearly cycle also, but it is not totally consistent in the time of year (you can’t see this without analysis).


The growth in CO2 is not consistent in each year, for example there is a faster rise just before 1991 compared to just after. In my previous study there was a multiyear fluctuation which might relate to the ENSO (El Nino Southern Oscillation) weather cycle.

To get a measure reasonably free from the annual cycle and rapid growth in CO2, we can compare the present level of CO2 to 365 days earlier. This is shown here.

CO2 -change-365d-l

The scale is considerably expanded here, but it can be seen that there is a fluctuation of period a few years, which is possibly due to ENSO. Let us now look at the last few years of this graph in detail.

CO2 -change-365d-s

The cycle of a few years can be seen to have peaks in early 2016 and early 2019. From 2020 February to 2020 March there is an increase in CO2 compared to a year earlier which is higher then the other recent values. The change in CO2 over the 365 days is around 4.5 ppm. This compares with a typical increase of about 3.5 ppm in recent years and only about 1 ppm back around 1960 when the data began to be collected.

So the big drop in CO2 expected from human emissions is actually a slight increase. I don’t know how to quantify the industrial reduction over the last two months, but I expect it to be in the tens of percent. That should show up as a reduction in CO2 by about 2 or 3 ppm compared to what is actually showing.

No doubt some measures of industrial production and CO2 emissions will become available in the coming months or year. Also, global temperatures will be reported and we can see if that has changed its trend. If it has not reduced temperatures, then the whole climate crisis story will be seen as having no basis in fact.

Some links relating to pollution reduction from covid-19:

New Evidence Shows How COVID-19 Has Affected Global Air Pollution

Has Covid-19 helped ease air pollution?

Coronavirus quarantines have reduced air pollution in China. An expert says that won’t last long

expert reaction to drop in air pollution because of COVID-19


About Ray Tomes

Ray's career was in computer software development including system software design, economic modeling, investments. He spent 15 years full time on cycles research and has spoken on cycles and related topics at conferences and seminars around the world. He retired at age 42 to study cycles full time and work out “The Formula for the Universe” and as a result developed the Harmonics Theory as an explanation for observed patterns of cycles and structure of the Universe. His current project is the development of CATS (Cycles Analysis & Time Series) software, and collecting and organizing large quantities of time series data and analyzing this data to test and confirm Dewey's findings in an organized way. Interested in all aspects of cycles especially climate change and causes.
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