Washington (AFP) – The nine years spanning 2013-2021 all rank among the 10 hottest on record, according to an annual report by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) published Thursday, the latest data underscoring the global climate crisis.
For 2021, the average temperature across global surfaces was 1.51 degrees Fahrenheit (0.84 degrees Celsius) above the 20th-century average, making the year the sixth-hottest in the overall record, which goes back to 1880.
"Of course, all this is driven by increasing concentrations of heat trapping gases like carbon dioxide," Russell Vose, chief of climate monitoring for NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information, told reporters.
"There's probably a 99 percent chance that 2022 will rank in the top 10, a 50-50 chance, maybe a little less, it'll rank in the top five, and a 10 percent chance it'll rank first" barring an unforeseen event like a major volcanic eruption or a large comet hitting Earth, he said.
NOAA also uses the 21-year span from 1880 to 1900 as a surrogate to assess pre-industrial conditions, and found the 2021 global land and ocean temperature was 1.87F (1.04C) above the average.