Climate Change: Greenhouse gas, and sea-level rise set new records in 2021

Greenhouse gas concentrations, sea level rise, ocean heat and ocean acidification — the four key climate change indicators — set new records in 2021 with extreme weather — the day-to-day ‘face’ of climate change — led to hundreds of billions of dollars in economic losses, the WMO State of the Global Climate in 2021 report said on Wednesday.

“It wreaked a heavy toll on human lives and well-being and triggered shocks for food and water security and displacement that have accentuated in 2022. This is yet another clear sign that human activities are causing planetary scale changes on land, in the ocean, and in the atmosphere, with harmful and long-lasting ramifications for sustainable development and ecosystems,” the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) said.

The WMO also listed individual extreme weather events around the world, noting how these events led to loss and damages of more than $100 billion in 2021 and severely impacted food security.

The global mean sea level reached a new record high in 2021, rising an average of 4.5 mm per year over the 2013-2021 period — a clear sign of how global warming is likely to be disastrous for coastal areas as the catastrophic level of 1.5 degree C rise is not far away.

Four key climate change indicators – greenhouse gas concentrations, sea level rise, ocean heat and ocean acidification – set new records in 2021.

This is yet another clear sign that human activities are causing planetary scale changes on land, in the ocean, and in the atmosphere, with harmful and long-lasting ramifications for sustainable development and ecosystems, according to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

Extreme weather – the day-to-day “face” of climate change – led to hundreds of billions of dollars in economic losses and wreaked a heavy toll on human lives and well-being and triggered shocks for food and water security and displacement that have accentuated in 2022.

The WMO State of the Global Climate in 2021 report confirmed that the past seven years have been the warmest seven years on record. 2021 was “only” one of the seven warmest because of a La Niña event at the start and end of the year.

This had a temporary cooling effect but did not reverse the overall trend of rising temperatures. The average global temperature in 2021 was about 1.11 (± 0.13) °C above the pre-industrial level.

  • Warmest years on record

The past seven years, between 2015 to 2021, were the warmest years on record, the WMO has warned. Last year alone was between the fifth and seventh warmest year on record globally. The average temperature globally in 2021 was around 1.11C above average world temperatures between 1850 and 1900 – known as the “pre-industrial average”.

  • Record high sea levels

Sea levels also reached a new record high in 2021. Globally, the sea level rose 4.5mm a year on average between 2013 and 2021. In several regions, the sea level is rising “substantially faster” than the global average, the WMO says. These include the South-west Pacific, the South-west Indian Ocean and the South Atlantic.

  • Antarctic ozone hole grows “unusually” big

The ozone hole over the Antarctic in 2021 was “larger and deeper” than 70% of the ozone holes measured since 1979, the WMO finds. It expanded to its widest area of the year – 24.8 million km² – during October. The WMO says it was driven by colder-than-average conditions in 2021 in the stratosphere – the second layer of the Earth’s atmosphere from ground level. A strong polar vortex – the band of cold air around the Earth’s North Pole – was another key contributing factor.

  • First ever rain at Greenland’s highest point

Rainfall was recorded for the first time ever at the highest point on Greenland’s ice sheet. This is Summit Station, a research station that is more than 3,200 metres above sea level.

Several hours of rain were observed at Summit Station on 14 August 2021. Air temperatures also stayed above freezing for about nine hours. This was part of an “exceptional” mid-August melt event for Greenland, linked to a mass of warm, humid air, the WMO says. 

We have always emphasized the importance of having a good website for your company because it can act as your best tool for marketing and sales. A poorly designed website can repulse people from your business and can cause you to lose customers before you even have them. Get in touch with HyperEffects to work on creating, enhancing, and making the website of your company more user-friendly.

0/5 (0 Reviews)
0/5 (0 Reviews)
0/5 (0 Reviews)
Scroll to Top