Stanford University

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The pandemic is not a natural disaster

The coronavirus isn't just a public-health crisis. It's an ecological one. The article cites Stanford professor Marshall Burke's estimates of lives saved by the reduction in pollution from the shutdown of factories in Wuhan, China.

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Animal viruses are jumping to humans. Forest loss makes it easier.

“We see the animals as infecting us, but the picture that’s coming from the study and other studies is we really go to the animals,” says Stanford's Eric Lambin.

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Pollution made COVID-19 worse. Now lockdowns are clearing the air.

“Lives we lose absent a pandemic are also really important, and are lives we shouldn’t lose,” says Stanford Earth's Marshall Burke.

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These charts show how coronavirus has 'quieted' the world

As people stopped commuting and traveling, the Earth’s surface vibrated less – and seismologists tracked the change. Stanford Earth's Nate Lindsey and Siyuan Yuan comment.

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‘We can’t go back to normal’: How will coronavirus change the world?

Stanford Earth's Marshall Burke estimates that the reduction in PM2.5 pollution from the coronavirus lockdown in China has saved tens of thousands of lives. How long will these reductions last?   

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Opinion: What the coronavirus means for climate change

The coronavirus pandemic has not only quickly changed the livelihoods of millions of people around the globe, but also the environment. The reduction in emissions from COVID-19 countermeasures has saved tens of thousands of lives in China alone, according to Marshall Burke. 

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Air pollution falls as coronavirus slows travel, but it forms a new threat

Experts say that the conronavirus could hurt climate change action in the long run. Companies that are currently hurting financially will be likely to delay or cancel climate-friendly projects, says Stanford's Rob Jackson.  

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Coronavirus shutdowns are lowering greenhouse gas emissions; history shows they’ll roar back

Greenhouse emissions are lower than before, but experts say it won't last. "We need sustained declines. Not an anomalous year below average,” says Rob Jackson.

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The side effects of social distancing

Stanford Earth professor Marshall Burke explains what we can learn from the pollution drop during China's COVID-19 lockdown. 

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As climate heats up, planners urged to look beyond history to judge risks

For decades, engineers and planners have not been properly integrating the dynamic effects of climate change in their risk simulations, says Stanford Earth's Noah Diffenbaugh.

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China's coronavirus lockdown curbs deadly pollution, likely saving the lives of tens of thousands, says researcher

China's COVID-19 countermeasures have slashed toxic air pollution. Between 50,000 and 75,000 lives have been saved due to the decreasing air pollution in China, according to Marshall Burke.

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Could the coronavirus actually be saving lives in some parts of the world because of reduced pollution?

"The reductions in air pollution in China caused by this economic disruption likely saved 20 times more lives in China than have currently been lost due to infection with the virus in that country," Marshall Burke said. 

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Air pollution likely to increase coronavirus death rate, warn experts

Stanford Earth's Marshall Burke says a preliminary estimate of premature deaths avoided due to cleaner air in China offers "a useful reminder of the often-hidden health consequences of the status quo.”

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Coronavirus lockdown likely saved 77,000 lives in China by reducing pollution

 “The lives saved due to the pollution reductions are roughly 20x the number of lives that have been directly lost to the virus," says Stanford Earth professor Marshall Burke.

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Coronavirus could weaken climate change action and hit clean energy investment

"If the global economy crashes, emissions will drop short term as we produce fewer goods, but climate action will slow. Employment trumps environment in politics," says Stanford Earth's Rob Jackson.

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Emissions are down thanks to coronavirus, but that's bad

Stanford Earth professor Marshall Burke's calculation of how the coronavirus affects air quality is cited in the context of a discussion of the "political, financial and economic storm" facing climate change advocates.

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