2021 was world's fifth-hottest year: EU scientists

2021 was the world's fifth hottest year on record, while levels of planet-warming carbon dioxide and methane in the atmosphere hit new highs.

That's according European Union scientists.

The EU's Copernicus Climate Change Service or C3S said in a report on Monday (January 10) that the last seven years were the world's warmest "by a clear margin" and the global temperature last year was 1.1-1.2 degree Celsius above 1850-1900 levels.

Freja Vamborg is a senior scientist at C3S:

"In a warming climate we are expecting to see more and more frequent heatwaves, or more intense heatwaves, and also there is already observational evidence that in Europe, due to the warming that's taken place already, heatwaves have already become more intense. "

Scientists say global levels of CO2 and methane, the main greenhouse gases, continued to climb, and both hit record highs in 2021.

After a temporary dip in 2020 at the onset of the global health crisis, provisional data suggest global CO2 emissions rebounded by 4.9% in 2021.

Vincent-Henri Peuch is the Director of Copernicus atmosphere monitoring service:

"Of course methane, together with CO2, is a very important greenhouse gas. So it's a concern to see the atmospheric rate double compared to the average...I think it's worrying, principally because it's high and we don't exactly know what is behind it."

C3S said extreme weather events that swept the world in 2021, from floods in Europe, China and South Sudan, to wildfires in Siberia and the United States should be a stark reminder of the need to take decisive and effective steps toward a sustainable society.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting