According the latest data compiled by the European Union (Copernicus Climate Change Service), 2021 was the fifth hottest on record for the planet. Globally, the mean temperature last year was 1.1 to 1.2 Celsius higher the pre-industrialisation records.
And the last seven years have also been the seven hottest on record. The hottest years on record are 2016 and 2020, tied for the ‘honour’.
Looking at 2021, scientists say the rate of increase in CO2 levels was actually a bit down; however, concentrations of methane grew at the fastest pace in two decades, for reasons yet unclear.
Methane of course is NZ’s chief contribution to the global warming crisis, at 36.5% of our total greenhouse emissions (belching cows and sheep).
Here in New Zealand, NIWA’s own climate analysis places 2021 at NZ’s hottest year on record (based upon records back to 1909). Annual temperatures were above average (+0.51C to +1.20C above the average) for much of NZ. The hottest temperature of 2021 award went to Ashburton at 39.4C on January 26.