Oceans heat up as 2021 lands in top 5 hottest years

| 11/01/2022 | 19 Comments

(CNS): The year 2021 was the world’s fifth hottest on record, with greenhouse gases surging and oceans warming to new highs and for some countries it was the hottest on record, scientists from NOAA in the US, the EU’s Copernicus Climate Change Service and university researchers have reported. The US saw its fourth hottest year on record and all over the world there were extreme weather events.

The last seven years were the world’s warmest “by a clear margin”, climate experts said, with 2020 and 2016 topping the table. There were numerous record-breaking climate events all over the globe in 2021, but despite commitments by governments to cut emissions, carbon dioxide and methane levels surged back up to pe-pandemic levels.

Around the world emissions increased on 2020, when there was a slight and evidently short-lived decrease as a result of the pandemic lockdown. In the United States greenhouse gas emissions rose by 6.2% last year, and recorded increases elsewhere means governmental goals to combat climate change are in jeopardy. Scientists said that the surge in emissions last year cancelled out all of the gains in the previous year’s decline.

A new report from the National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) examining just 20 weather events in the US last year showed these cost the American economy at least $145 billion.

Meanwhile, new analysis published Tuesday showed that oceans contained the most heat energy in 2021 since measurements began six decades ago — accelerating at a rate only possible because of human-emitted greenhouse gases. Since the late 1980s, Earth’s oceans warmed at a rate eight times faster than the preceding decades.

Warming seas remain of particular concern for low lying nations such as the Cayman Islands.

CNS has contacted the Cayman Islands National Weather Service and the Department of Environment for the latest local statistics on the temperature here in 2021 and the emissions for last year and we are awaiting a full response. But the weather service was able to offer raw data, which saw Cayman’s top temperature last year exceed 33.5C (92.3F) on two separate days in September and October some 6 degrees hotter than the average for September but almost 10 for October. The average temperature for last year was 28.4C or 83.1. According to the most recently available numbers 2019 emissions were the highest in Cayman since 2007, and regionally per capita the country has the highest levels in the Caribbean region.

The PACT Government is committed to addressing this problem with the National Energy Policy, which is focused on reducing our dependence on diesels to produce electricity, and a new transport policy. However, the most pressing issue for the Cayman Islands is preparing for the impact of climate change, which despite the Paris Accord signed in 2015 and the agreements in Glasgow last year, is a more clear and present danger than ever before.

Globally, the first five months of the year experienced relatively low temperatures compared to the recent very warm years. But from June until October monthly temperatures were consistently at least amongst the fourth warmest on record and Europe had its warmest summer since record began.

Across a band stretching from the west coast of the USA and Canada to northeastern Canada and Greenland, as well as large parts of Central and North Africa and the Middle East there were above average temperatures last year.

More than 400 weather stations around the world beat their all time highest temperature records in 2021, demonstrating the realities of global warming, according to a report in the Guardian newspaper last week. Maximiliano Herrera, who keeps track of extreme weather around the world and publishes an annual list of records broken in the previous year, recorded an alarming list for 2021.

According to his records, Oman, UAE, Canada, the United States, Morocco, Turkey, Taiwan, Italy, Tunisia and Dominica all broke or tied their national highest record, 107 countries beat their monthly high temperature record, and five beat their monthly low temperature record. 

In July a temperature of 54.4°C (130°F) was recorded in Furnace Creek, Death Valley, a desert valley in Eastern California, the highest reliably recorded temperature on Earth. Then in August in Syracuse the highest temperature ever in Europe, 48.8°C (119.8°F), was recorded.

Overall 2021 was a year of climate crisis with numerous catastrophic extreme weather events, from fires and floods to storms and tornadoes, and scientists are already warning that 2022 will look very similar and possibly worse.

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Category: Climate Change, Science & Nature

Comments (19)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I don’t believe in vaccines or climate change because I am an idiot.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Cayman will likely be under water by the end of this century. Invest accordingly, homies.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Not so bad, only 1/2 the planet is on fire.

  4. Anonymous says:

    If the earth resembled even remotely that of a sentient being, it’d be easily argued (and be rightly so) that it’s had enough and giving up on us

    • Anonymous says:

      4.5 Billion years of life on this planet.

      300,000 years of humanity.

      Less than a century of consumerism risks ending it all.

  5. Anonymous says:

    It really is mind boggling, there’s no obvious calamities in my way today so don’t worry about it 🤷🏻‍♀️.

    As comedian Steve Hughes said 10 years ago highlighting the absurdity –

    ‘why should I believe in it, you don’t know what you’re talking about, meanwhile they’re running around the world dropping depleted uranium all over the earth, sitting there letting nuclear weapons under off under the sea and rest of us what are we going to do ? – sit at home with a special light bulb and a shopping bag for life.

    Well at the end of the day when all of this is going on, well the x-factor is on the news’

    • Beaumont Zodecloun says:

      I get what you are saying. It seems fruitless to add our little tiddles into the great basket of woes. Still, all our little contributions might help. I’m more for conservation on a local level. There is little doubt that people fuck up the land wherever they occupy. I want to set aside lands — great groups of property — for the future. Lots of native bush.

      I want to explore sea/wave power energy generation. Solar here has to filter through an atmosphere that is dense with water vapor. Still, it works. The winds are a wandering wind, but still they work. We should be working on energy generation on a personal/homestead level. Government should be funding it.

    • Anonymous says:

      I don’t understand 1:13 but anyway,

      Guinness World Record Snowflake,

      It is reported that on 28 Jan 1887 at Fort Keogh, Montana, USA, ranch owner Matt Coleman measured a snowflake that was 15in 38cm wide and 8in 20cm thick, which he later described as being ‘larger than milk pans

    • Johnny Canuck says:

      It is January in the Northern Hemisphere after the warmest and wettest November and December on record in large parts of North America particularly British Columbia and the Pacific Northwest in the U.S.

  6. Anonymous says:

    The carbon this island produces in a year is equal to what China outputs in hours. We’re a drop in the bucket honestly. Money is better spent preparing for rising tides and creating a fund to help future displaced Caymanians to relocate.

    • Anonymous says:

      Don’t worry, those who are in Dart’s Bobo Club will soon be able to relocate to his 50 storey monolith if they have a few spare $M

  7. Anonymous says:

    Ironically it’s felt like the coldest few months for Cayman! In all seriousness though, global warming is real.

  8. Anonymous says:

    As the stable genius said “it is a Chinese hoax”. Make America Great Again.

  9. Hubert says:

    We had better get ready for the next Hurricane Ivan here with the continued heating up of the Atlantic Ocean.

    Get ready people because the big one is going to come here again.

    • Beaumont Zodecloun says:

      There will always — ALWAYS — be a big hurricane a-coming. We should always — ALWAYS — be prepared for it. ALL year around. ALL of us.

      Now is a good time to increase the comfort foods in our pantries. A little extra every week. A couple cans.

      Be safe.

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