The last seven years have been the hottest on record globally “by a clear margin”, the European Union’s climate monitoring service reported Monday, as it raised the alarm over sharp increases in record concentrations of methane in the atmosphere.
Countries around the world have been blasted by a relentless assault of weather disasters linked to global warming in recent years, including record-shattering wildfires across Australia and Siberia, a once-in-1000-years heatwave in North America and extreme rainfall that caused massive flooding in Asia, Africa, the U.S. and Europe.
In its latest annual assessment, the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) confirmed that 2021 had joined the unbroken warm streak since 2015.
It found that last year was the fifth warmest on record globally, marginally warmer than 2015 and 2018. Accurate measurements go back to the mid-19th century.
The annual average temperature was 1.1 to 1.2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, measured between 1850 and 1900, C3S said.
That was despite the cooling effect of the natural La Nina weather phenomenon.
Overall, the monitoring service found the last seven years “have been the warmest years on record by a clear margin”.
“2021 was yet another year of extreme temperatures with the hottest summer in Europe, heatwaves in the Mediterranean, not to mention the unprecedented high temperatures in North America,” said C3S Director Carlo Buontempo.
“These events are a stark reminder of the need to change our ways, take decisive and effective steps toward a sustainable society and work towards reducing net carbon emissions.”