Majority of climate change indicators show things got worse in 2021, scientists say

Four key climate change indicators set data in 2021 — a year that was among the many seven warmest on file.

Scientists outlined their findings in the World Meteorological Organization’s annual State of Climate report that was launched Wednesday.

According to the report, 4 of the seven indicators scientists use to explain climate change hit new highs — greenhouse gases focus, sea-level rise, ocean warmth and ocean acidification.

“Our climate is changing before our eyes,” WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas stated in an announcement concerning the company’s report. “The heat trapped by human-induced greenhouse gases will warm the planet for many generations to come. Sea level rise, ocean heat and acidification will continue for hundreds of years unless means to remove carbon from the atmosphere are invented.”

Scientists additionally stated that the previous seven years have been the warmest on file. They stated temperatures in 2021 had been 1.11 levels Celsius above pre-industrial ranges, inching the planet nearer to the 1.5-degree warming threshold scientists stated will result in main results on the planet. A cooling La Niña occasion at first and finish of 2021 saved it from being the warmest year on file, scientists stated.

Global annual imply temperature distinction from pre-industrial circumstances for six international temperature knowledge units.

“It is just a matter of time before we see another warmest year on record,” Taalas stated.

Water recedes near Lone Rock Beach, a popular recreational area that used to be underwater, at Lake Powell.
Water recedes close to Lone Rock Beach on the border of Arizona and Utah, a well-liked leisure space that was underwater, at Lake Powell.
Here's a chart showing greenhouse gasses in 2021.
Here’s a chart exhibiting greenhouse gasses in 2021.

What are the 7 climate change indicators?

The World Meteorological Organization makes use of 7 indicators to explain climate change:

Greenhouse gases

Increasing ranges of greenhouse gases in the environment are a significant driver of climate change.

Global temperature

As concentrations of greenhouse gases enhance, so does the worldwide imply floor temperature.

Ocean warmth content material

Most of the surplus vitality in the surroundings as a result of of greenhouse gases goes into the ocean.

Sea-level rise

As ocean temperatures enhance, sea ranges rise. This rise isn’t equal throughout the planet.

Ocean acidification

Some CO2 emissions are absorbed by the ocean, the place it interacts with saltwater and will increase the acidity.

Sea-ice extent

This is a measure of how a lot ice covers the ocean. It serves as an indicator of climate change in polar areas the place modifications can have widespread results.

Glacier mass stability

Glaciers present freshwater to hundreds of thousands around the globe and their loss has important impacts on international climate.

Global annual mean temperature difference from pre-industrial conditions for six global temperature data sets.
Global annual imply temperature distinction from pre-industrial circumstances for six international temperature knowledge units.
UK Met Office/WMO

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