Despite the Corona crisis, climate change is still an important issue

Even though the current crisis around Covid-19 is keeping the media and all of us very busy, climate change is also ongoing. The crisis around Covid-19 will not significantly mitigate climate change, even though the current downturn in the global economy is currently leading to a decrease in current air pollution (e.g. in the Po valley in Northern Italy But the accumulation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere since the beginning of climate change is so strong that the Covid-19 crisis has little impact on the total amount of atmospheric greenhouse gases (

2020 is a year that again started with 3 months that had mean temperatures which were significantly higher than the long-term mean values (see, e.g., the monthly DWD weather status: ). In many areas of Germany there was no snow in winter. Since mid-March there was hardly any precipitation, and already now, mid-April, the soils are already too dry again (only in German: Climate change is continuing and we must fundamentally change our behaviour to counteract it.

It is therefore important to see the Corona crisis as an opportunity for change. The revival of the economy must be done from a climate-neutral perspective if we want to prevent future crises caused by climate change that would make the current Corona crisis seem tiny. This is also referred to, e.g., in the third ad hoc statement by the Leopoldina on the Covid-19 pandemic ( and in a guest contribution by Patrick Graichen, director of the Agora Energiewende think tank (only in German: and in the Forbes magazine (

On 24.4.2020, "Fridays for Future" has long planned a global climate action day to highlight the continuing importance of climate protection. Since public demonstrations are not possible, many actions will take place on the net, including information on climate change (


Dr Heike Wex, TROPOS & S4F Leipzig,



Warming stripes following Ed Hawkins, global, 1850-2019. (Stripes indicate average annual temperatures, where each year is a single stripe. The color scale covers 1.35°C from dark blue to dark red.)