Insight

Findings From the State of the Climate Report 2021

The State of the Climate Report 2021, compiled by NOAA, has been released based on independent datasets across the globe. Here is a summary of the findings.

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Findings From the State of the Climate Report 2021

The 2021 State of the Climate Report, compiled by NOAA, the research is based on contributions from more than 530 scientists in over 60 countries, reflects tens of thousands of measurements from multiple independent datasets.

The report is among the most credible of its kind on a global scale with an independent dataset that’s unmatched across the globe. It shares hugely important findings pertaining to the welfare of our planet and future global climate efforts and initiatives.

Here are some of the key takeaways from the findings.

State of the Climate Report 2021 Findings

As predicted, Earth’s warming trend continued

The last seven years were the seven warmest years on record. That’s 1.1°C above pre-industrial levels, bringing us ever closer to the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C limit.

Earth’s greenhouse gases were the highest on record

Carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide rose to new record highs in 2021. These warming gases absorb infrared radiation and contribute to the greenhouse effect.

Graphic showing the difference in increase in greenhouse gases

Ocean heat and global sea levels were also the highest on record

Higher sea levels destroy habitats and increase the likelihood and impact of natural disasters, while higher temperatures reduce the ocean’s greenhouse gas sequestration.

Temperatures were mixed in the Southern Hemisphere

New Zealand saw its warmest year on record and Australia saw its coolest since 2012 but was still hotter on average overall, resulting in floods from rainfall, heatwave-induced fires and other extreme weather.

While the Arctic was cooler overall, new records were set

During a major heatwave in June, Fort Smith in Canada reached 39.9°C. It was the highest temperature ever recorded above 60 degrees North latitude.

We are at an inflection point and we must change the climate narrative. The impacts of the warming planet are being felt by communities and wildlife around the world, but there is still hope. 

It’s clear we’ve reached a now-or-never crossroads in our global approach to climate change.

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