2016: Smog hangs over a construction site in Weifang city, Shandong province, Oct 16. 2015. Air quality went down in many parts of China since Oct 15 and most cities are shrounded by haze. [Photo/IC]

Claim: The Covid Pandemic Caused Global Warming

Essay by Eric Worrall

Apparently the drop in particulate emissions during the Covid lockdown triggered a surge of global warming.

Climate paradox: Emission cuts could ‘unmask’ deadly face of climate change, scientists warn

BY SAUL ELBEIN – 06/01/23 6:00 AM ET

One the one hand, cutting fossil fuel pollution is necessary for avoiding severe destruction over the long term. But such cuts will make the earth much hotter in the short term.

One recent study cast the well-known declines in air pollution during the COVID-19 pandemic in a darker light.

That’s because the shuttered factories and power plants led to a corresponding crash in emissions.

After the cuts, the study found that light reaching the surface increased by 7 percent.

A draft study led by Columbia University climate scientist James Hansen suggests that the recent rise in temperatures doesn’t come from greenhouse gases at all, but from the reduction in sulfate aerosols since the early-2000s.

Not all climate scientists accept Hansen and company’s conclusion. 

“I have nothing but respect & reverence for [Hansen] … but I think he is wrong on this one,” University of Pennsylvania climate scientist Michael Mann tweeted.

Read more: https://thehill.com/policy/equilibrium-sustainability/4028811-climate-paradox-emission-cuts-could-unmask-deadly-face-of-climate-change-scientists-warn/

The abstract of the study;


Aerosol demasking enhances climate warming over South Asia

H. R. C. R. NairKrishnakant BudhavantM. R. ManojAugust AnderssonS. K. SatheeshV. RamanathanÖrjan Gustafsson 

npj Climate and Atmospheric Science volume 6, Article number: 39 (2023) Cite this article


Anthropogenic aerosols mask the climate warming caused by greenhouse gases (GHGs). In the absence of observational constraints, large uncertainties plague the estimates of this masking effect. Here we used the abrupt reduction in anthropogenic emissions observed during the COVID-19 societal slow-down to characterize the aerosol masking effect over South Asia. During this period, the aerosol loading decreased substantially and our observations reveal that the magnitude of this aerosol demasking corresponds to nearly three-fourths of the CO2-induced radiative forcing over South Asia. Concurrent measurements over the northern Indian Ocean unveiled a ~7% increase in the earth’s surface-reaching solar radiation (surface brightening). Aerosol-induced atmospheric solar heating decreased by ~0.4 K d−1. Our results reveal that under clear sky conditions, anthropogenic emissions over South Asia lead to nearly 1.4 W m−2 heating at the top of the atmosphere during the period March–May. A complete phase-out of today’s fossil fuel combustion to zero-emission renewables would result in rapid aerosol demasking, while the GHGs linger on.

Read more: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41612-023-00367-6

Note James Hansen did not participate in the above study which discusses the impact of the Covid lockdown on global warming. The Hill also article referenced a draft James Hansen study which attempts to link clean air policies since 2010 to recent global warming.

What can I say? The solution seems obvious.

Instead of demanding coal plants reduce sulphate emissions, sulphate and particulate emissions should be encouraged. That way we could save everyone from global warming by raising the sulphate burden of the atmosphere, while we wait for the solar panels to kick in and replace fossil fuel.

Do I need a /sarc tag?

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Rud Istvan
June 4, 2023 10:05 am

Trying to have it both ways is some times difficult.

Reply to  Rud Istvan
June 4, 2023 10:11 am

Not for climate alarmist’s.

Reply to  HotScot
June 4, 2023 4:31 pm

Alarmist disphoria?

Reply to  Rud Istvan
June 4, 2023 10:12 am

Nah. Give the voluminous and exceedingly noisy data, folks can torture it sufficiently to draw any conclusion they want.

Hence CO2 causes catastrophic warming, catastrophic cooling, catastrophic flooding, catastrophic drought and an almost limitless number of other Very Bad Things.

Reply to  honestyrus
June 7, 2023 12:38 am

Give the voluminous and exceedingly noisy data, folks can torture it sufficiently to draw any conclusion they want.


There are lies, There are Damned Lies, and then there are Statistics.

…and never forget, Language is a lady of negotiable affections… Statistics may be open to interpretation, but first they are subject to presentation.

John Shewchuk
June 4, 2023 10:08 am

We’re still thawing out from the Little Ice Age. Probably has something to do with the sun.

Reply to  John Shewchuk
June 4, 2023 2:18 pm

If you ask me, we are still in the Little Ice Age.
Click on the graph for a clear view.
0.25 C change in over a quarter of millennia, or hopefully whole of 1 degree C in a thousand years.
data: https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/hadobs/hadcet/data/meantemp_monthly_totals.txt

June 4, 2023 10:10 am

 reverence for [Hansen] …

Yep. Cult status confirmed.

Rich Davis
Reply to  HotScot
June 4, 2023 7:05 pm

Reverence for the Holy Father Pope Jim

June 4, 2023 10:13 am

I have nothing but respect & reverence for [Hansen] … but I don’t know what he thinks he’s doing and it isn’t helping the cause….

ME Mann

Mike McMillan
Reply to  strativarius
June 4, 2023 2:05 pm

The High Priest of Global Warming knocks one of the Founders.

Shades of Ernst Rohm and Leon Trotsky.

Well, that’s it for Hansen. Done. Career over. Stick a fork in it.

June 4, 2023 10:39 am

If one consider’s the “Covid lockdown” period to have occurred from CY2020 to CY 2022, plus one wants to assert that that was a delay of anywhere from 0 to 12 months for such lockdown to affect “global warming”, the best measurement of lower troposphere temperature fails to show such a correlation.

From the WUWT article https://wattsupwiththat.com/2023/06/02/uah-global-temperature-update-for-may-2023-0-37-deg-c/, the first attached graph fails to show any out-of-the-ordinary surge in “global warming”. 

Likewise, from the WUWT article https://wattsupwiththat.com/2023/06/03/the-new-pause-feels-the-influence-of-the-coming-el-nino/ , the second graph also fails to show any out-of-the-ordinary surge in “global warming”.

Conclusion: the statement in the above article “After the cuts, the study found that light reaching the surface increased by 7 percent” MUST mean that the study involved computer modeling . . . and we all know the reliability of such when it come to climate.

Reply to  ToldYouSo
June 4, 2023 10:40 am

Here’s the second graph I referred to in above post.

Reply to  ToldYouSo
June 4, 2023 11:15 am

“”Additionally, a radiative forcing model19 was used

our findings of demasking of the aerosol forcing are mostly based on direct observations, yet we rely on the combination of MCOH data and model estimated forcing to interpret the factors contributing to the observed changes.“”

Reply to  strativarius
June 4, 2023 11:20 am

As suspected. Thanks!

Reply to  ToldYouSo
June 5, 2023 5:07 am

Ooops . . . several typos in the first sentence of my post above.

It should read (corrections in bold):
“If one considers the “Covid lockdown” period to have occurred from CY2020 through CY 2022, plus one wants to assert that there was a delay of anywhere from 0 to 12 months for such lockdown to affect “global warming”, . . . ”

Not enough coffee, I guess 😉

June 4, 2023 11:03 am

Oh, noes! It’s worse than we thought!

June 4, 2023 11:34 am

This was just a laugh out loud. I can’t take anything I read from them seriously anymore. If emission cuts are bad, then the solution is what? It’s one thing after another. Nothing is ever consistent with these people.

Reply to  Walter
June 4, 2023 11:50 am

Ouroboros bites

June 4, 2023 12:45 pm

I quit reading at “James Hansen”

June 4, 2023 1:17 pm

Did I ever tell you I don’t like these guys?

John Hultquist
June 4, 2023 1:22 pm

Gad! The global warming “ClimateCult™” is not only wrong but also confused.

son of mulder
June 4, 2023 1:32 pm

The reduction of SO2 also occurred during the implementation of the Clean Air Acts in the 1970’s and 1980’s and the warming that ensued was assigned to CO2. Let’s face it, the Industrial Revolution upto 1970’s cooled the earth.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  son of mulder
June 5, 2023 4:55 am

What cooled the Earth before the Industrial Revolution?

We have the Little Ice Age. Then the temperatures warmed up to a highpoint in the 1880’s. Then the temperatures cooled for decades to the 1910’s. Then the temperatures warmed for a few decades into the 1930’s, where the temperature highpoint was equvalent to the 1880’s highpoint. Then the temperatures again cooled for a few decades down through the 1970’s, and then the temperatures again warmed to the present day, where the temperature highpoints are equivalent to the highpoints in the 1880’s and the 1930’s. All three periods show similar magnitudes of warming.

So when did the Industrial Revolution kick in and cause the temperatures to rise?

The chart below was created by one of the chief bastardizers of the surface temperature record, Phil Jones. You see all the pain being caused by NutZero? Phil Jones is a chief architect of this pain. He bastardized the temperature record to cool the warming in the past so as to make it look like the Earth is experiencing unprecedented warming today. Nothing could be further from the truth. This is the BIG LIE that our societies are spending Trilllion of dollars on in an effort to stop this fraudulent warming.

Phil Jone cooled the 1930’s and the 1880’s in his computer, but he does show the 1880’s warmth to be equivalent to the 1930’s warmth.

If you were to manipulate that chart and put the 1880’s, and the 1930’s and the present day on the same horizontal line, then you would have an accurate depiction of the Earth’s temperature profile where it warms for a few decades and then it cools for a few decades, and the range of the temperatures varies about 2.0C from the warmest temperatures to the coolest temperatures.

So we are no warmer today than we were in the past. There is no unprecedented warming, and there is no evidence that CO2 has any discerable effect on the Earth’s climate. And as far as I can see, there is no correlation between SO2 and the temperature profile I just described, either.

comment image

son of mulder
Reply to  Tom Abbott
June 5, 2023 1:35 pm

“What cooled the earth before the industrial Revolution? Natural variation I would suggest and volcanos. I didn’t say the Industrial Revolution was the only thing that cooled the earth the Clean Air Acts certainly contributed to warming in the 70’s / 80’s. But that gets assigned to anthropogenic CO2.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  son of mulder
June 6, 2023 4:05 am

“the Clean Air Acts certainly contributed to warming in the 70’s / 80’s.”

I don’t think that’s been established. That’s my problem with SO2: a lot of claims but very little, if any, corroboration with temperatures. The warming since the satellite era (1979 to present) could just as easily have been caused by Mother Nature, and my chart (Phil Jones chart) shows that there were similiar warmings in the past when there was no clean air act.

No corroboration, as far as I can see. My reply to you was an effort to have anyone who thinks they have corroboration to weigh in, but that didn’t happen, and I think I know why, because they don’t have the data to back up these claims.

E. Schaffer
June 4, 2023 1:35 pm

It is all about protecting their “investment”. There are a couple of problems they try to address..

  1. Pollution needs to cool planet Earth, cause otherwise there is only so much warming not supporting relevant climate sensitivity.
  2. The lockdown related decrease in aviation induced cirrus might have cooled the planet, and despite “too much noise”, the observations are at least not contradicting this notion.
  3. As with 2 temperatures rather went down than up. You can not explain this with reduced GHG emissions cause GHG concentrations are long lasting, and were growing anyway. Pollution can not do it, unless you reverse the sign of their climate impact. And aviation must not do it, if you want to continue downplaying it.

The dilemma can easily be fixed by claiming lockdown related warming as opposed to reality.

Reply to  E. Schaffer
June 4, 2023 2:36 pm

2. The lockdown related decrease in aviation induced cirrus might have cooled the planet, and despite “too much noise”, the observations are at least not contradicting this notion.

There is recent and forceful data saying that the ice crystals in high cirrus clouds act to strongly reflect incoming solar radiation, thus increasing Earth’s albedo.

To the extent that aviation-induced cirrus clouds change Earth’s albedo to any significant degree (IMHO highly debatable), the decrease in such clouds should contribute to warming—not cooling—the planet (i.e., surface and, hence, lower troposphere).

E. Schaffer
Reply to  ToldYouSo
June 4, 2023 3:40 pm

With cirrus clouds the GHE far exceeds the albedo effect, which is an undisputed fact.

Smart Rock
Reply to  E. Schaffer
June 4, 2023 6:12 pm

In the climate circus, there is no such thing as an undisputed fact.

Reply to  E. Schaffer
June 4, 2023 7:16 pm

With cirrus clouds the GHE far exceeds the albedo effect, which is an undisputed fact.


“Over the whole surface of the Earth, about 30 percent of incoming solar energy is reflected back to space. Because a cloud usually has a higher albedo than the surface beneath it, the cloud reflects more shortwave radiation back to space than the surface would in the absence of the cloud, thus leaving less solar energy available to heat the surface and atmosphere.”

“The global surface albedo over the solar spectrum is approximately 0.1” . . . cirrus clouds have an albedo of 0.1 to 0.3
[my underlining emphasis added]

It is a common misperception to claim that cirrus clouds are “mostly transparent” to incoming solar radiation . . . it is just that they have an albedo that is less than lower-altitude cloud types (e.g., stratus cloud albedo is in the range of 0.3-0.6, and cumulonimbus cloud albedo is in the range of 0.7-0.9) . . . but cirrus clouds nevertheless have an albedo higher than the global average of Earth’s surface.

Energy that never reaches Earth’s surface cannot contribute to the greenhouse effect.

As to the GHE (the absorption of LWIR radiated from Earth’s surface by certain IR-active atmospheric molecules such as water vapor, CO2 and methane): the GHE is basically completed within the first 5 km of altitude because below this altitude the GHG’s have “thermalized” their intercepted and temporarily-absorbed LWIR energy with ALL other atmospheric constituents (mainly N2 and O2) due to molecular collisional exchanges. Within the lower troposphere, atmospheric molecules collide with each other at a rate that is 10^6 to 10^9 times faster (depending on density and temperature variation with altitude) than the characteristic time for photon emission from an LWIR-excited state. Again, the asymptotic limit for this LWIR interception and thermalization is around 5 km altitude.

Cirrus clouds generally occur at altitudes of 5 to 10 km.

E. Schaffer
Reply to  ToldYouSo
June 4, 2023 7:34 pm
Right-Handed Shark
June 4, 2023 1:56 pm

Just a word about the accompanying picture to this article, where the yellow haze is usually attributed to some kind of chemical smog from industry in China, but is largely dust blown in from the Gobi desert. Not that air pollution isn’t a problem there, but nothing is going stop the frequent dust storms blocking out the sun.


Rud Istvan
Reply to  Right-Handed Shark
June 4, 2023 2:18 pm

OTH, it is worse in winter when China heats with coal, and worse in New Delhi year round where Gobi dust cannot reach. So probably some of both. Good point in general—be careful about season/location specific generalizations. Alarmists do it all the time; skeptics should not.

Reply to  Rud Istvan
June 4, 2023 5:12 pm

We can’t win a scientific battle against a propaganda war.

It’s precisely why we have ended up where we are now after 50 years of delivering the facts.

Reply to  Right-Handed Shark
June 4, 2023 7:23 pm

So when my oldest Granddaughter and her husband were stationed in S, Korea that black soot which covered their deck and outside railings all the time was dust from the Gobi? I don’t think so.

Gilbert K. Arnold
June 4, 2023 3:56 pm

Just a nit pick…Michael E. Mann is NOT at the University of Pennsylvania…. he is at Pennsylvania State University…

June 4, 2023 4:32 pm

Did the 9/11 aftermath cause US warming?

Smart Rock
Reply to  niceguy12345
June 4, 2023 5:12 pm

As I recall, there was some evidence that the nights got cooler, but it didn’t go on for long enough to establish a real trend.

June 4, 2023 5:06 pm

I have to admit my interest in global warming and climate things in general has waned quite steeply over the past few years. I used to read things here and actually poke around in the data somewhat, only to find there was a mess underneath. Now I only look in occasionally, more attuned to funny oddities of a fringe science, like this piece. The whole subject is about as interesting and relevant to me as studies of bird migration patterns, cognition in primates and birds, shifts in the earths magnetic fields and solar storms, etc. Somewhat interesting but not really my cup of tea. It seems to me many climate science folks and climate policy wonks are having a very hard time adjusting to the idea that they are not heroic genius figures like Goldblum’s Levinson, who is the Only One who knows the alien invasion is in countdown mode and the Only One who knows how to save the earth, if only people will listen! It is quite a comedown when your life’s work turns out not to be the most important thing to human survival and is a much more mundane field (as far as the general public is concerned) as are most of the specialties of us regular scientists.

Reply to  fah
June 4, 2023 5:14 pm

Goldblum’s Levinson, who is the Only One who knows the alien invasion is in countdown mode and the Only One who knows how to save the earth

Thanks for your service.


June 4, 2023 5:11 pm

Let’s see… First the covid pandemic lockdown reduced global warming. Now covid caused more global warming. Seems about right from “warmists.”

Pat from Kerbob
Reply to  ScienceABC123
June 4, 2023 5:52 pm

They made a movie about climate science that won an Oscar

Everything, everywhere, all at once.

It’s about the effects of co2


David Blenkinsop
Reply to  Pat from Kerbob
June 5, 2023 1:18 am

The ultimate movie/TV series about what to do to end global warming forever would seem to be the various iterations of the Snowpiercer story, one of many references is, say,
https://thescienceof.org/snowpiercer-earth/ .

That’s a <sarc>, I mean, it’s just so great to think that planned geoengineering release of upper atmosphere aerosols might then turn the earth into a snowball.

Pat from Kerbob
June 4, 2023 5:27 pm

I thought it’s been determined that reduced cloud cover, due to many factors, is why ?

June 4, 2023 5:49 pm

Good lord. It’s like they just make stuff up.

Tom Abbott
June 5, 2023 4:31 am

From the article: “One the one hand, cutting fossil fuel pollution is necessary for avoiding severe destruction over the long term.”

What a ridiculous statment!

There’s never been “severe destruction” from CO2 in all of Earth’s history, and CO2 concentrations have been much higher in the past at 7,000+ppm than they are today at 420ppm. It is estimated that if we burned all the fossil fuels available to us at one time, that this would raise the CO2 concentrations to around 800ppm. That ought to show you just how ridiculous this claim is.

There is no evidence now, or in the past, that CO2 is harmful in any way to humans or to the Earth’s climate. No evidence. It’s all fearmongering and ignorance.

And please note that when I say “no evidence” nobody ever jumps in and provides that evidence. That’s because they don’t have any evidence to present, so the climate change alarmists don’t say anything. That will be the case this time, too.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Tom Abbott
June 6, 2023 3:59 am

And, as you see, that is the case, there is noone coming to climate change scaremongering’s defense.

Bill Parsons
June 5, 2023 10:40 am

Claim: The Covid Pandemic Caused Global Warming
A serious case could be made for the converse: Insitutions set up to promote the climate scam were practically unchallenged in their fierce promotion of pandemic response – and probably caused some of its most negative consequences.

IMO, the “medical industrial complex” has greater influence over U.S. citizens and their wallets than the Supreme Court.


Hopefully Biden’s new NIH nominee will resist the temptation to use this medical autocracy.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  Bill Parsons
June 7, 2023 3:39 am

Well, since “autocracy” seems to be the middle name of every Biden nominee for every government position, I wouldn’t count on that.

Bill Parsons
Reply to  AGW is Not Science
June 7, 2023 9:01 pm

I’m talking about the medical autocracy that Francis Collins set up. Under his leadership, and apparently none from our president, the U.S. virtually shut down.

The damage to the economy, to schools, to industry were serious.

AGW is Not Science
June 6, 2023 1:47 pm

Mann thinks Hansen is wrong. Must be something right about what Hansen said then.

June 7, 2023 12:42 am

I join in at Comment 50. After reading the other 47, I conclude that my knee-jerk reaction to the headline, though almost irrelevant to the article, stands:
Of course Covidiocy caused global warming: Every thinking person on this planet is coming to the boil with rage at the stupid, stupid sh.. the doomsdayers want us to believe, ignoring science in favour of their Utopian halucinations!
…and profits. Never forget the Investor’s Right to Profit, right, Mark?

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