Scientific American quotes Mayewski in article on coronavirus, geological records

Scientific American quoted Paul Mayewski, director of the Climate Change Institute at the University of Maine, in the article “Will the Earth ‘Remember’ the Coronavirus Pandemic?” Amid widespread lockdowns to combat the coronavirus pandemic, worldwide emissions of carbon dioxide are down by 17 percent since a year ago, and analyses suggest that 2020 will see the biggest year-on-year drop for those emissions, the article states. A researcher 100 years from now might look at pollution records in tree rings, ice cores and sediment deposits — but will they find a record of the pandemic’s effects on pollution? Mayewski said the most likely marker to be found would be aerosols, ultrafine particles that can float through the atmosphere for days or weeks before falling to the ground. Markers in future ice cores could show signs of the pandemic too. “Ice cores don’t lie,” Mayewski said. “They capture, to the best of their ability, everything that is transported in the atmosphere.”