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Journal Articles Nature Reviews Earth & Environment Year : 2020

The COVID-19 lockdowns: a window into the Earth System

Noah S. Diffenbaugh
  • Function : Author
Christopher B. Field
  • Function : Author
Eric A. Appel
  • Function : Author
Ines L. Azevedo
  • Function : Author
Dennis D. Baldocchi
  • Function : Author
Marshall Burke
  • Function : Author
Jennifer A. Burney
  • Function : Author
Steven J. Davis
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Arlene M. Fiore
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Sarah M. Fletcher
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Thomas W. Hertel
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Daniel E. Horton
  • Function : Author
Solomon M. Hsiang
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Robert B. Jackson
  • Function : Author
Xiaomeng Jin
  • Function : Author
Margaret Levi
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David B. Lobell
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Galen A. Mckinley
  • Function : Author
Frances C. Moore
  • Function : Author
Anastasia Montgomery
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Kari C. Nadeau
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Diane E. Pataki
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James T. Randerson
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Markus Reichstein
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Jordan L. Schnell
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Sonia I. Seneviratne
  • Function : Author
Deepti Singh
  • Function : Author
Allison L. Steiner
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Gabrielle Wong-Parodi
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Abstract

Restrictions to reduce human interaction have helped to avoid greater suffering and death from the COVID-19 pandemic, but have also created socioeconomic hardship. This disruption is unprecedented in the modern era of global observing networks, pervasive sensing and large-scale tracking of human mobility and behaviour, creating a unique test bed for understanding the Earth System. In this Perspective, we hypothesize the immediate and long-term Earth System responses to COVID-19 along two multidisciplinary cascades: energy, emissions, climate and air quality; and poverty, globalization, food and biodiversity. While short-term impacts are dominated by direct effects arising from reduced human activity, longer-lasting impacts are likely to result from cascading effects of the economic recession on global poverty, green investment and human behaviour. These impacts offer the opportunity for novel insight, particularly with the careful deployment of targeted data collection, coordinated model experiments and solution-oriented randomized controlled trials, during and after the pandemic.

Dates and versions

insu-03721896 , version 1 (13-07-2022)

Identifiers

Cite

Noah S. Diffenbaugh, Christopher B. Field, Eric A. Appel, Ines L. Azevedo, Dennis D. Baldocchi, et al.. The COVID-19 lockdowns: a window into the Earth System. Nature Reviews Earth & Environment, 2020, 1, pp.470-481. ⟨10.1038/s43017-020-0079-1⟩. ⟨insu-03721896⟩
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