Last year was the fifth hottest on record in the world, as global warming carbon dioxide and methane levels in the atmosphere hit new highs in 2021, Union scientists have said European.
The EU’s Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) said in a report on Monday that the past seven years had been the warmest in the world “by far” in records dating back to 1850, and global average temperature in 2021 was 1.1 to 1.2 C above. 1850-1900 levels.
The hottest years on record were 2020 and 2016.
As part of the 2015 Paris Agreement, countries pledged to try to limit the rise in global temperature to 1.5 ° C, the level scientists say would avoid the worst impacts of climate change. That would require emissions to be roughly halved by 2030, but so far they’ve charged more.
As greenhouse gas emissions change the planet’s climate, the long-term warming trend has continued. Climate change has exacerbated many of the extreme weather events that swept the world in 2021, from flooding in Europe, China and South Sudan, to wildfires in Siberia and the United States.
“These events are a stark reminder of the need to change our habits, to take decisive and effective measures towards a sustainable society and to work towards the reduction of net carbon emissions”, said Carlo Buontempo, director of C3S.
Global levels of CO2 and methane, the main greenhouse gases, continued to climb and both reached record levels in 2021. Levels of CO2 in the atmosphere reached 414.3 parts per million (ppm ) in 2021, up about 2.4 ppm from 2020, the scientists said.
C3S said levels of methane, a particularly potent greenhouse gas, have jumped over the past two years, but the reasons are not fully understood. Methane emissions range from oil and gas production and agriculture to natural sources like wetlands.
After a temporary drop in 2020 at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, provisional data suggests global CO2 emissions rebounded 4.9% in 2021.
Records and disasters
Last summer was the hottest on record in Europe, CS3 said, after a hot March and an unusually cold April that decimated fruit crops in countries like France and Hungary.
In July and August, a Mediterranean heat wave fueled intense forest fires in countries like Turkey and Greece. Sicily has set a new European temperature record of 48.8 ° C, a record awaiting official confirmation.
In July, more than 200 people died when torrential rains triggered deadly floods in Western Europe. Scientists concluded that climate change has made flooding at least 20% more likely.
Also that month, floods in China’s Henan Province killed more than 300. In California, a record-breaking heat wave was followed by the second-largest wildfire in state history, decimating land and spewing air pollution.
In Canada, the town of Lytton, British Columbia, was wiped out that month after a wildfire engulfed it. Parts of the province also broke heat records last summer in an intense and persistent heat wave.
NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) will release their climate results on Wednesday.