Saturday, January 15, 2022

2021 sixth warmest year on record globally, fourth warmest in U.S., NASA and NOAA report

I concluded 2021 in climate and weather from ABC News, NBC News, and WeatherNation by writing "That's it for last year's climate and weather until NASA and NOAA weigh in on how 2021 ranks among the hottest years on record." Both science agencies released their findings on Thursday, so it's time for this year's version of 2020 tied with 2016 for warmest year on record, NASA reports. I begin with ABC15 Arizona's The heat stays on: Earth hits 6th warmest year on record in 2021.

Two U.S. science agencies say 2021 was the sixth hottest year on record globally, part of a long-term warming trend.
ABC15 Arizona interviewed a scientist with NASA. 9News in Denver, Colorado, interviewed a NOAA scientist in 2021 was the sixth hottest year globally, said NOAA.

Scientists with NOAA say that the global temperature in 2021 was not as warm as the last two years. Still - it was one of the top 10 warmest years on record.
That was worth embedding just for the preview image from Climate Central, let alone all the other images of last year's climate and weather from NOAA. If 9News had used ABC15's video description, I'd have placed this video first.

Not only was 2021 the sixth warmest worldwide, it was the fourth warmest in U.S. history, as ABC10 in Sacramento, California, reported in 2021 was the 6th warmest year on record across the globe, added to weather extremes.

2021 was the 4th warmest year on record for the U.S., according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
ABC10 got very local in the second half of this video, concentrating of the effects of climate change on precipitation. That ties into one of the questions I asked my students about An Inconvenient Truth: "What is the predicted effect of global warming on floods and droughts?" The answer is that it will make both more extreme, exactly what ABC10 showed for its coverage area in its video.

ABC10 included clips of NASA scientist Gavin Schmidt in its report. Here's the source video from NASA Goddard: Temperature Record 101: How We Know What We Know about Climate Change.

2021 was tied for the sixth warmest year on NASA’s record, stretching more than a century.

But, what is a temperature record?

GISTEMP, NASA’s global temperature analysis, takes in millions of observations from instruments on weather stations, ships and ocean buoys, and Antarctic research stations, to determine how much warmer or cooler Earth is on average from year to year. Stretching back to 1880, NASA’s record shows a clear warming trend.

However, individual weather events and La NiƱa — a pattern of cooler waters in the Pacific that was responsible for slightly cooling 2021’s average temperature — can affect individual years. Because the record is global, not every place on Earth experienced the sixth warmest year on record. Some places had record-high temperatures, and we saw record droughts, floods and fires around the globe.
So completes 2021 in climate. Stay tuned for the Sunday entertainment feature.

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