The year 2021 has ended as the fifth hottest year on record

A significant increase in the atmosphere methane level helped push global temperatures in 2021 to their highest ever recorded, according to the EU’s Copernicus Climate Change Service. A new report released on Monday determined that last year was the warmest year on record for Europe in 52 years, slightly hotter than 2015 and 2018. The past seven ranks as the hottest on record. , and 21 of the 22 warmest years have occurred since 2000 .

Pollution from fossil fuel burning, industrial activity and other human sources is causing temperatures to rise. A group of UN-backed global climate scientists said with “clear” confidence in an August report that man-made pollution is causing the warming trend. A major factor keeping 2021 from reaching record heat is the ongoing La Niña event, an sporadic natural cooling in the equatorial Pacific that is expected to last into the months early 2022.
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America is the biggest in the world CO₂ pollutes historically, and shows no sign of abating despite White House ambitions to halve 2005 emissions by the end of the decade. According to research firm Rhodium Group, a preliminary analysis of emissions last year showed the United States was moving in the opposite direction, with greenhouse gas emissions increasing by 6.2%—a faster pace than growth. Gross domestic product growth was 3.8%, according to research firm Rhodium Group. This result marks a 17% jump over 2020 emissions, driven by increased coal burning and freight transport.

According to Copernicus, the amount of methane in the atmosphere rose to a record last year, to 1,876 parts per billion. Supercharged greenhouse gases with more than 80 times the initial warming impact of carbon dioxide come from natural sources, such as swamps and termites, as well as human activities including oil and gas infrastructure, oxen, rice production and landfill. While many sources make it difficult to pinpoint exactly what caused the overall spike, there are new ways to track some of the previously difficult-to-detect methane emitters.

Read more: How the livestock industry is ignoring the bottom line when it comes to methane emissions

A global increase in atmospheric methane occurs when satellites and ground-based sensors make the new gas visible to the camera. In one recent example, a pipeline safety measure taken for highway construction in northeast Texas in November resulted in the release of methane at an hourly rate equivalent to a year. CO₂ emissions from 2,500 cars. Meanwhile, in October, Australia’s largest methane cloud last year appeared over the country’s top coal-producing region. In the same month, Russian energy giant Gazprom PJSC released methane during pipeline repairs.

The ubiquity of methane emissions and their temporary but intense residence in the atmosphere make them an effective way to direct climate policy for the foreseeable future. That’s why more than 100 countries signed the pledge to cut methane at the recent United Nations climate talks in Glasgow, Scotland.

Annual climate results there is a slight possibility of misinterpretation of non-scientists. While last year’s average temperature trails 2016, 2020, 2019 and 2017, it’s more important to focus on the overall trend that has seen each decade get hotter than the previous. since the 1960s. It’s helpful to think of a hot fifth year like a hot fifth charcoal in a growing fire — they’re all in the same range and pointing upwards.

Read more: The methane pledge is the first good news of COP26. Nothing else will be as easy as

Carlo Buontempo, Copernicus Climate Change Service Director, said: “These events are a stark reminder of the need to change the way we are, taking decisive and effective steps to achieve this. towards a sustainable society and towards reducing net carbon emissions”.

Regional, seasonal and local results from Copernicus fill in the picture of a world that is currently in constant transition, with lots of superlatives all around. July 2021 is ranked by NOAA as the hottest month on record, and the June-August period was the hottest summer on record for the mainland. Sicily is likely to set a new European temperature record of 48.8°C (120°F), breaking the previous record by 0.8°C. The heat gets worse. Wildfires around the Mediterranean. The west coast of North America experienced a disruptive heatwave in June; The fires on the continent produced the highest levels of CO₂ and other emissions ever recorded, at 83 million tonnes.

Carbon dioxide, the gas responsible for about three-quarters of the planet’s warming, continues to rise to 2.4 parts per million. That a puts the atmospheric average at 414.3 ppm, or 50% more CO₂ than in pre-industrial times.

Other scientific groups, including NASA, NOAA, the UK Met Office and Berkeley Earth, maintain climate records dating back to the 19th century and are expected to publish their 2021 results in at the end of this month. The year 2021 has ended as the fifth hottest year on record

Aila Slisco

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