Our air quality is improving as most people stay home. But will it actually help with global warming?

Light traffic passes under an overpass on I-5 in North Seattle on March 25, 2020. Less traffic on the roads has lowered local air pollution but has not made a significant impact on global C02 emissions.

A satellite that detects emissions in the atmosphere linked to cars and trucks shows declines in pollution over the Seattle area in March 2020 compared with March 2019. Yet history has shown that emissions typically surge back to normal along with everything else after a crisis is past.

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