We've all seen the images of clear skies and dormant smoke stacks during the COVID-19 pandemic where people are consuming less, driving less, and burning less fuel for energy. So why are we still seeing the highest levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere than ever before? It has to do with the length of time for molecules to dissipate from the atmosphere, and it's different for every particle. Carbon is one of the longest lasting, so we still have carbon molecules from decades ago still floating around trapping climate altering heat.
This article by Dino Grandoni at the Washington Post walks us through the complicated nature of GHG concentrations, and how it will be important to watch the economic rebound and it's contribution to the gains we've seen during COVID-19.