Global carbon dioxide emissions see historic drop largely due to reduced car traffic

A view of morning traffic on FDR Drive is seen on March 24, 2020 in New York City.
(Image credit: ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images)

The worldwide drop in carbon emissions due to coronavirus shutdowns could be the largest in recorded history, scientists say.

As of early April, daily global carbon dioxide emissions decreased by 17 percent compared to last year's levels, corresponding with emission levels of 2006, according to a study published Tuesday in Nature Climate Change. Scientists estimate an annual decrease of 4 to 7 percent, depending on when pre-pandemic activities resume.

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