2021 was among the seven hottest years on record, says UN body
NEW DELHI: Last year was one of the seven hottest years on record, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), a United Nations body, said on Wednesday.
Although La Niña conditions between 2020 and 2022 had a cooling effect on the global average temperatures, 2021 was still one of the seven hottest years on record, six international data sets consolidated by the WMO have revealed. La Niña refers to a large-scale cooling of the ocean surface temperatures in the central and eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean. It has a temporary global cooling effect.
The average global temperature last year was 1.11 (± 0.13) degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, spanning the period from 1850 to 1900.
Last year was the seventh consecutive year, starting with 2015, when the global average temperature was more than 1 degree Celsius above pre-industrial levels, the data sets compiled by the WMO show.
The Copernicus Climate Change Service estimated that 2021 was the fifth hottest year on record, and marginally hotter than 2015 and 2018. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and Berkeley Earth found that 2021 was the sixth hottest year on record.
Nasa GISTEMP and HadCRUT also said that 2021 was the sixth hottest year on record. Data from the Japanese Meteorological Agency (JMA) Reanalysis Rank 2021 show that last year was indeed the seventh hottest year on record.
The differences in the data sets indicate the margin of error for calculating the average global temperature.
Since the 1980s, each decade has been hotter than the previous one, according to the data put together by the UN body, and the trend is likely to continue.
The hottest seven years have all been recorded since 2015, with 2016, 2019 and 2020 topping the list. A strong El Niño event occurred in 2016, which had sparked record global average warming.
“Back-to-back La Niña events mean that 2021 warming was relatively less pronounced compared to recent years. Even so, 2021 was still warmer than previous years influenced by La Niña. The overall long-term warming as a result of greenhouse gas increases is now far larger than the year-to-year variability in global average temperatures caused by naturally occurring climate drivers,” said WMO secretary-general Petteri Taalas.
“The year 2021 will be remembered for a record-shattering temperature of nearly 50 degrees Celsius in Canada, comparable to the values reported in the hot Saharan desert of Algeria, exceptional rainfall, and deadly flooding in Asia and Europe as well as drought in parts of Africa and South America. Climate change impact and weather-related hazards had life-changing and devastating impact on communities on every single continent,” Taalas said.
Last year was also the fifth hottest during the past 121 years for India, after 2016, 2009, 2017 and 2010, according to the Annual Climate Statement 2021 released by the India Meteorological Department (IMD) last week.
The annual mean air temperature was 0.44 degrees Celsius above normal in 2021, while in 2016, it was 0.71°C above normal; 0.55°C in 2009; 0.54°C in 2017 and 0.53°C in 2010.
“This is certainly an impact of global warming. The fact that the most recent years after 2000 are recorded to be the warmest years is not just true for India but also globally. That is why we are preparing better forecast strategies in view of global warming,” said M Mohapatra, director general of the IMD.
The Paris Agreement aims to hold the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels while pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
A long-delayed conference on how to restore the faltering health of global oceans kicked off in Lisbon on Monday, with the head of the UN saying the world's seas are in crisis. "Today we face what I would call an ocean emergency," UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres told thousands of policymakers, experts and advocates at the opening plenary, describing how seas have been hammered by climate change and pollution. Humanity depends on healthy oceans.
A tornado ripped through a southwestern Dutch city on Monday, killing at least one person and injuring seven others in the first fatal twister to hit the country for three decades. The whirlwind left a trail of destruction through the seaside city of Zierikzee, blowing the roofs off homes and toppling trees onto cars, an AFP journalist at the scene said.
The Group of Seven nations on Monday vowed to stand with Ukraine “for as long as it takes”, promising to tighten the squeeze on Russia's finances with new sanctions that include a proposal to cap the price of Russian oil. The G7 countries said they had also pledged or were ready to grant up to $29.5 billion for Ukraine. “It's useless to hope for decency and humanity from Russia,” Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky wrote on Telegram.
India Prime Minister Narendra Modi held his first in-person bilateral meeting with his Canadian counterpart Justin Trudeau in over four years in Germany on Monday. A tweet from India's prime minister's office noted the two leaders “took stock of India-Canada friendship and discussed ways to further strengthen it across various sectors”. This was the first time they held such discussions sitting across from each other since Trudeau visited India in February 2018.
In a move that may have an impact on the terms of the growing Russia-India energy partnership - India has enhanced import of Russian energy since the war in Ukraine began as energy prices spiral - the G7 countries are considering imposing “price caps” on Russia's oil to dilute revenue inflows to Moscow. The West has alleged that these inflows are helping Russian President Vladimir Putin finance the war in Ukraine.