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The coronavirus outbreak will likely cause a drop in global carbon dioxide emissions that's far larger than any prior crisis or war, per a new analysis that combines multiple datasets to provide a wide-ranging look at the pandemic's effect.

What they found: The analysis from the U.K.-based Carbon Brief provides a tentative estimate that global CO2 emissions are likely to fall by more than 4% from 2019 levels.

Courtesy Carbon Brief
  • Data from countries and sectors not yet available is expected to increase the total, they find, and also note that some estimates of oil consumption declines have grown since they completed their post.
  • They also caution that efforts to gauge the virus' effects are complicated by unknowns about the duration of the crisis and lockdowns, among other variables.

Why it matters: It provides a sense of the staggering effects of the outbreak that's freezing huge amounts of travel and economic activity.

  • But it also provides an unfolding, real-time look at the immense challenge implementing policies that cut emissions steeply enough to meet the goals of the Paris climate agreement.

Here's how they contextualize a one-year drop of more 4%...

"Global emissions would need to fall by more than 6% every year this decade — more than 2,200MtCO2 annually — in order to limit warming to less than 1.5C above pre-industrial temperatures."

Don't forget: Tracking the emissions effects isn't the same as celebrating them. The Carbon Brief piece clears its throat by noting the pandemic is "decimating lives, livelihoods and the normal functioning of society."

Go deeper: The pandemic and pollution

Go deeper

U.S. ambassador to Russia will return home briefly: State Department

John Sullivan, U.S. Ambassador to Russia, during a briefing in Moscow in 2015. Photo: Anton Novoderezhkin/TASS via Getty Images

The State Department said Monday that the U.S. ambassador to Russia, John Sullivan, will now be returning to the United States this week before returning to Moscow "in the coming weeks."

Why this matters: The statement, from a State Department spokesperson, comes just hours after Axios reported that Sullivan had indicated he intended to stand his ground and stay in Russia after the Kremlin “advised” him to return home to talk with his team.

Scoop: Leaked Ukraine memo reveals scope of Russia's aggression

Russian President Vladimir Putin visits a military exposition in Sevastopol, Crimea, in Jan. 2020. Photo: Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images

Russia has been holding last-minute military exercises near commercial shipping lanes in the Black Sea that threaten to strangle Ukraine's economy, according to an internal document from Ukraine's ministry of defense reviewed by Axios.

Why it matters: With the eyes of the world on the massive buildup of troops in eastern Ukraine, the leaked memo shows Russian forces escalating their presence on all sides of the Ukrainian border.

Elon Musk: Autopilot feature wasn't enabled in fatal Texas crash

Photo: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted on Monday that "data logs recovered so far" show the car's Autopilot feature was not enabled — and it did not have access to "full self-driving mode" — in the deadly crash in Texas involving the company's electric vehicle.

Background: Local investigators said they believed the car was operating without anyone in the driver's seat. At the time of death, one man was in the passenger seat, while another was in the rear seat, KPRC 2 reports.