Geneva [Switzerland]: Based on six leading international datasets, the UN agency World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has declared 2021 as one of the seven warmest years on record.
On Wednesday, a press release by WMO said that global warming and other long-term climate change trends are expected to continue as a result of heat-trapping greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Although average global temperatures were temporarily cooled by the 2020-2022 La Nina events, said WMO.
The average global temperature in 2021 was about 1.11°C above the pre-industrial (1850-1900) levels. 2021 is the 7th consecutive year where the global temperature has been over 1°C above pre-industrial levels, according to all datasets compiled by WMO.
The warmest seven years have all been since 2015, with 2016, 2019 and 2020 taking the top three slots. WMO said it uses six international datasets to ensure the most comprehensive, authoritative temperature assessment. The same data are used in its annual State of the Climate reports which inform the international community on global climate indicators.
“Back-to-back La Nina 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 Nina. 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, Professor 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 impacts and weather-related hazards had life-changing and devastating impacts on communities on every single continent,” Professor Taalas added.