The past eight years have been the eight warmest since record keeping began in 1880, U.S. government scientists have said.
U.S. government scientists say 2021 was the sixth warmest year on record, and they are blowing up the debt straight climate change.
On average, 2021 was 1.51 degrees Fahrenheit (0.84 degrees Celsius) warmer than baseline between 1901 and 2000, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said in a report released Thursday.
NASA, the North American space agency, came to similar conclusions in a report released along with data from NOAA. In its review, NASA said 2021 was tied for sixth warmest year.
The last eight years have been the eight warmest and the last decade was the hottest since record keeping began in 1880, officials from the two agencies said.
Global warming is “very real. It’s now, and it’s affecting real people,” Gavin Schmidt, director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, told Reuters news agency.
La Nina, a climate phenomenon centered in the eastern Pacific, has cooled global temperatures slightly compared to what they would have been without them, scientists said.
Yet they said 2021 was the warmest La Nina year on record and that the year did not represent a cooling of man-made climate change, but provided more of the same heat.
“So it’s not quite as dominant on the head as being the hottest on record, but give it a few more years and we’ll see another one of those records,” said climate scientist Zeke Hausfather of the Berkeley Earth Monitoring Group which also 2021 the ranking of sixth warmest. “This is the long-term trend, and it’s an untamed march.”
In the Arctic, Often seen as a harbinger of broader environmental change, maximum sea ice levels were the seventh-lowest on record, NOAA said.
Arctic sea ice cover has fallen by about 30 percent since 1980, NASA reported, and the polar region is heating up about three times faster than the rest of the planet.
A key indicator of climate change, the heat content of the world’s oceans, reached a record level in 2021, the agencies said. Oceans absorb more than 90 percent of the excess heat trapped by greenhouse gases in the Earth’s atmosphere, and those warmer waters affect weather patterns and changes in currents.
“What’s scientifically interesting about it is that it tells us why the planet is getting hot,” Schmidt said. “It’s getting hot because of our impact on greenhouse gas concentrations.”
For their 2022 outlook, scientists say they expect another year rising heat.
“There’s a 10 percent change by 2022 will be first place (for heat),” Russ Vose, chief analyst at NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information, told reporters Thursday. “And a 99 percent chance that it will rank among the top 10 hottest.”