published on 11 January 2022 in air

Copernicus: 2021 was the 5th warmest year ever recorded

Copernicus, the European satellite monitoring service, has recently published new data on global climate and temperatures, showing that the last seven years have been the hottest on record at global level. In particular, last year ranked 5th, with values slightly higher than 2015 and 2018. In addition, the average annual temperature was 0.3°C above the temperature during the 1991-2020 reference period and 1.1-1.2°C above the pre-industrial level of 1850-1900.

According to the data, temperatures over the last 30 years (1991-2020) were always almost 0.9°C above the pre-industrial level. Again with reference to the last 30 years, the regions with the highest above-average temperatures are those between the United States and western Canada and between north-eastern Canada and Greenland. Added to these are large parts of North and Central Africa and the Middle East. Global warming in Europe has remained 0.1 degree above the average of the past 30 years, but the summer of 2021 was the hottest ever so far for the Old Continent. And it is precisely in the summer months that the greatest climatic extremes have been concentrated, from flooding to heat waves that have led to the new European heat record, recorded in Syracuse in Sicily at the beginning of August at 48.9 degrees.

Preliminary analysis of satellite measurements confirms that greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere continued to increase in 2021, with carbon dioxide (CO2) reaching an annual global record of about 414 ppm and methane (CH4) about 1876 ppb. Carbon emissions from wildfires also increased, mainly due to fires in Siberia: 1850 megatonnes, slightly higher than last year (1750 megatonnes of carbon emissions). However, there has been downward trend since 2003.

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