An experiment of nature

Back in day genetic diseases were called experiments of nature, which I thought rather cruel, as it implied a conscious intent to set them up (to me at least).  Well, we’re in the middle of one presently, and it may tell us something about climate change.  The New York Times today has a pious article “What the Pandemic Means for Climate Change” full of treacle.

However, it is possible that the drop in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions (25% in China in February) if it goes on long enough might tell us something about the effect of CO2 on climate.

Suppose global CO2 drops and the temperature along with it.  This should convince the hardiest climate skeptic (not denier) that CO2 and global temperature are related.

I’m far from knowing enough to even guess, if a mild decline in emissions would change global CO2 levels and with it global temperatures, but both are being continuously measured so we’ll soon have the data.

Probably nothing will happen to either as there is so much CO2 in the atmosphere, that a blip of a 25% decline (even worldwide) won’t do anything.

I’m posting this, because the article said nothing about the possibility.

Any thoughts, particularly from people more knowledgeable than me

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  • Mark Thorson  On March 29, 2020 at 10:15 pm

    I’ve been trying to think of the secondary effects of the covid-19 epidemic, and you hit on one I hadn’t thought of. I suspect your drop-in-the-ocean analysis is accurate and nothing will happen.

    The biggest effect I see heading our way is the final collapse of many underfunded state pension funds. Here in California, that’s CalSTRS for teachers and CalPERS for everybody else. They acquired massive underfunded liabilities during the administration of Gray Davis (the dishonest governor that was recalled). Don’t know how the markets will handle states defaulting right and left. We might not be first, but we will be the biggest.

    Unemployment is exploding as retail massively downsizes and restaurants/bars close. Many small businesses operate on thin margins, and they will be going bankrupt in droves. Some industries will see permanent downsizing, such as movie theater chains, cruise lines, casinos, and tourist destinations. This could become something like the Great Depression.

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