Skip 
Navigation Link

1215 South Walnut Ave.
Demopolis, AL 36732 map map 

Access to Care: 1-800-239-2901

Medical Disorders
Resources
Basic InformationLookupsLatest News
COVID-19 Causing More Stress in America Than Other Nations: SurveyPandemic Could Complicate Hurricane Season11 States Could Face ICU Doc Shortages as Coronavirus Cases SurgeYet Another Study Finds Vaccines Are SafeIn Rush to Publish, Most COVID-19 Research Isn't Reliable, Experts SayMany U.S. Homes Too Cramped to Stop COVID-19's SpreadWith Safety Steps, Moms Unlikely to Pass COVID-19 to Newborns: StudyFace Masks Making Things Tough for the DeafU.S. Air Quality Got Better During Pandemic: StudyWill CPR Save Your Life? Study Offers a Surprising AnswerLupus Drug Prevents Low Heartbeat in High-Risk Newborns: StudyMasks, Video Calls: Pandemic Is Hampering Communication for Those With Hearing ProblemsCOVID-19 Deaths Have Already Left 1.2 Million Americans GrievingWill COVID Pandemic's Environmental Benefit Last?Exposure to Iodine in the NICU May Affect Infant Thyroid FunctionZika May Have Damaged More Infants' Brains Than ExpectedCoronavirus Ups Anxiety, Depression in the LGBTQ CommunityWill the COVID-19 Pandemic Leave a Mental Health Crisis in Its Wake?AHA News: Sadness and Isolation of Pandemic Can Make Coping With Grief HarderWildfire Smoke Causes Rapid Damage to Your Health: StudyCOVID-19 Typically Mild for Babies: StudyOne-Time Treatment Eases Parkinson's -- in MiceDrug Might Relieve Low Back Pain in Whole New WayBlood Donors Will Get Results of Coronavirus Antibody Test, Red Cross SaysAre Hardened Arteries a Risk Factor for Poor Slumber?Can Talk Therapy Heal the Body, Too?COVID Got You Scared of Performing CPR? Study Finds Infection Risk Is LowHealthDay In-Depth
The AI Revolution: Robots Already Helping Humans Deliver Better Care">HealthDay In-Depth
The AI Revolution: Robots Already Helping Humans Deliver Better Care
People With Intellectual Disabilities Are Being Hit Hard by COVID-19Fewer Suicide-Related ER Visits in COVID Era, and That Has Experts Worried'Psychological Distress' Has Tripled in U.S. During Pandemic, Survey ShowsPeople Are Avoiding the ER During COVID-19 Crisis at Their Peril: StudyCoronavirus Pandemic Spurring Mental Health Crisis, Especially in the YoungAHA News: Looking for Ways to Protect Against Pandemic PTSDAs Postponed Surgeries Resume, Can U.S. Hospitals Handle the Strain?Most Americans Still More Worried About COVID-19 Spread Than the EconomyBig Need for Blood Donations as Postponed Surgeries ResumeAHA News: How Bacteria in Your Gut Interact With the Mind and BodyMusic Might Help Soothe Ailing HeartsCould an Injected Electrode Control Your Pain Without Drugs?A New Hip or Knee Can Do a Marriage Good, Study FindsOnly Half of Americans Say They'd Get a Coronavirus Vaccine: SurveyLockdown Got You Down? Experts Offer Tips to De-StressPTSD May Plague Nurses, Especially in COVID-19 EraDepression, Anxiety, PTSD May Plague Many COVID-19 SurvivorsAHA News: Caregiving Is Never Easy, and COVID-19 Has Made It HarderLayoffs and Losses: COVID-19 Leaves U.S. Hospitals in Financial CrisisFDA Goes After Unproven COVID-19 Antibody TestsDuring Droughts, Many Poor Americans Will Lack Clean Tap Water: StudyLove in the Time of Coronavirus: Couples Feel the Strain of Lockdown
Questions and AnswersVideosLinksBook Reviews
Related Topics

Cancer
Men's Health
Women's Health

Will COVID Pandemic's Environmental Benefit Last?

HealthDay News
by -- Steven Reinberg
Updated: Jul 15th 2020

new article illustration

WEDNESDAY, July 15, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- It has been the sole silver lining in the coronavirus pandemic -- cleaner air and water on the planet. But will it continue?

A new study says that isn't yet clear.

"The pandemic raises two important questions related to the environment," said study author Christopher Knittel, from the MIT Sloan School of Management in Boston. "First, what is the short-run impact on fossil fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions? Second -- and more important but harder to answer -- what are the longer-term implications from the pandemic on those same variables?

"The health impacts from the pandemic could stretch out for decades -- if not centuries -- depending on the policy response," he said.

"If the pandemic leads to a persistent global recession, there is a real threat to the adoption of clean technology, which could outweigh any 'silver lining' in environmental benefits," said study co-author Jing Li, also from the MIT Sloan School of Management.

For the study, the researchers analyzed the effect of the pandemic on carbon dioxide (CO2) levels from late March to June 7.

They found reductions in the use of jet fuel (50%) and gasoline (30%). Natural gas use also dropped by nearly 20% and the demand for electricity dropped by less than 10%.

"Overall, these reductions reflect a 15% total reduction in daily CO2 emissions, which is the largest annual percentage decline for the U.S. in recorded history," Knittel said in a MIT news release. "We estimate that the shutdowns saved about 200 lives per month, primarily driven by the lower emissions from transportation."

However, the researchers noted that due to the pandemic, investment in the transition to low-carbon energy has halted. For example, worldwide sales of electric cars are estimated to drop 43% in 2020, as all car sales fall.

Also, rooftop solar and storage installations have declined, and clean energy jobs dropped by nearly 600,000 by the end of April.

"The short-term impact of the pandemic is clear, but the long-term impact is highly uncertain," Li said. "It will depend on how long it takes to bring the pandemic under control and how long any economic recession lasts."

In the best case, investment trends before the pandemic will continue, the researchers said.

"Unfortunately, we view a second scenario as more likely," Knittel said. "In this scenario, the consequences of the pandemic will be greater, with many more deaths and deeper disruptions to supply chains, and a persistent global recession. The need to backpedal on the reopening of the economy due to flare-ups could destroy rather than defer the demand for goods and services."

In the long-run, the effect on CO2 and local air pollution could outweigh the short-run reductions.

"Our findings suggest that even just pushing back all renewable electricity generation investments by one year would outweigh the emissions reductions and avoided deaths from March to June of 2020," the researchers wrote. "However, the energy policy response to COVID-19 is the wild card that can change everything."

"Just stabilizing the economy can go a long way to putting clean energy trends back on track," Knittel added. We need to solve the pandemic and continue to address climate change. Otherwise, it will lead to even more tragedy."

The report was published July 9 in the journal Joule.

More information

For more on air pollution, head to the Natural Resources Defense Council.