Past 7 yrs hottest on record – EU data

The past seven years have been the hottest on record, according to new data from the EU’s satellite system.

The Copernicus Climate Change Service said 2021 was the fifth-warmest year, with record-breaking heat in some regions.

And the amount of warming gases in our atmosphere continued to increase.

Governments are committed to limiting global temperature rise to 1.5C to curb climate change. But scientists warn that time is fast running out.

The environmental, human and economic costs of hotter temperatures are already being seen globally.

Europe lived through its warmest summer, and temperature records in western US and Canada were broken by several degrees. Extreme wildfires in July and August burnt almost entire towns to the ground and killed hundreds.

“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,” Carlo Buontempo, director of the Copernicus Climate Change Service, explains.

The Copernicus data comes from a constellation of Sentinel satellites that monitor the Earth from orbit, as well as measurements taken at ground level.

Copernicus data showed that 2021 was the fifth-hottest on record, marginally warmer than 2015 and 2018. Taken together, the past seven years were the hottest seven years on record by a clear margin, the agency explained.

The 2021 average temperature was 1.1-1.2C above the pre-industrial level around 150 years ago.

The agency said that the start of the year saw relatively low temperatures compared to recent years, but that by June monthly temperatures were at least among the warmest four recorded.

Places with above average temperatures included the west coast of US and Canada, north-east Canada and Greenland, large parts of north and central Africa, and the Middle East.

The weather phenomenon known as La Niña – when surface sea temperatures are cooler – contributed to below-average temperatures in western and eastern Siberia, Alaska, and the central and eastern Pacific during the start and end of 2021.

Overall Europe’s annual temperature was outside the ten warmest years on record but the summer was the hottest.

A heatwave swept through Mediterranean in July and August, particularly affecting Greece, Spain and Italy. -BBC

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