The numbers are in: Earth is still running a fever. NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released their annual assessment of global temperatures and found that 2021 was the sixth warmest year on record, as Nicole Mortillaro reports in a CBC News story.
“It’s certainly warmer now than at any time in at least the past 2,000 years and probably much longer,” said Russell S. Vose, the climate analysis chief of NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI), in a teleconference.
While the ranking isn’t the most important gauge of climate change — Vose pointed to others, such as ice-sheet melt, changes in animal behaviour and migration patterns — it’s a good indicator of Earth’s warming trajectory.
“This is just one indicator of a world that’s warming,” said Vose. “The last seven or eight years have been the warmest on record. It’s pretty clear that it’s getting warmer.”
While 2021 placed in the Top 10 of hottest on record, the fact that it didn’t rank higher wasn’t a surprise to climatologists. That’s because it was a year with La Niña, a cooling of the Pacific Ocean that has a cooling effect across parts of the planet.
Source: CBC News. Read the full story here
Photo: A motorist watches from the side of the Trans-Canada Highway as a wildfire burns in Lytton, B.C., on July 1, 2021. Courtesy Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via CBC News