The World Weather Organization reports that 2021 is among the seven warmest years on record.
the essentials in brief
- The year 2021 is on average more than one degree above the pre-industrial level.
- This is the seventh year in a row, according to the World Weather Organization.
- It joins the ranks of the seven warmest years since records began.
2021 was the seventh consecutive year with temperatures more than one degree above pre-industrial levels. Measured by global average temperatures, last year was one of the seven hottest years on record. This was reported by the World Weather Organization (WMO) on Wednesday in Geneva.
The high temperatures came about in 2021 despite the year being marked by La Niña. This weather phenomenon, which occurs every few years, depresses the global average temperature. This is because the upper water layers of the tropical East Pacific cool down abnormally.
More than a degree above pre-industrial levels
The global average temperature in 2021 was about 1.11 degrees above the 1850-1900 level. The previous record year was 2016 with about 1.2 degrees above the pre-industrial level, closely followed by 2019 and 2020. The WMO emphasizes that the differences between the individual years are so small that an exact sequence can hardly be determined.
“Global warming is likely to continue because of record-high concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, which absorb thermal radiation.” That writes the WMO.
Climate change is changing people’s lives
WMO Secretary General Petteri Taalas recalled the record temperatures of almost 50 degrees in Canada. Also of the deadly floods in Asia and Europe and droughts in Africa and South America. “The consequences of climate change and weather-related hazards have life-changing and devastating consequences for people.” He said so.
The WMO uses data from six leading institutions for its statistics on the warmest years. These include the US climate agency NOAA and the EU’s Copernicus Climate Change Service. NOAA ranked 2021 as the sixth warmest year.
In the Glasgow climate pact, the countries agreed to stop global warming at 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels. So far, however, the climate protection measures are far from sufficient.
More on the subject:
Climate change data EU