Weather scientists said May was the warmest month on record worldwide, with one observing station reporting carbon dioxide levels hitting a record high. The World Meteorological Organization warned that it will have a major impact on biodiversity and nature as well as on people's socio-economic development and well-being.
Pandemic won't affect climate
At the same time, lockdowns due to the COVID-19 virus have led to improvements in air quality and cleaner skies in many places. But WMO spokeswoman Clare Nullis said scientists agree the effects are temporary and the pandemic will not affect climate change in the long term.
"The industrial and economic slowdown from COVID 19 is not a substitute for sustained and coordinated climate action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions," Nullis said. "Unfortunately carbon dioxide concentrations measured at the Mauna Loa observing station in Hawaii reached a new record in May." The WMO noted the atmospheric carbon dioxide measured at the observatory is a seasonal peak, not a global average. Nevertheless, it said that is indicative of the continuing increase in carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere.