The last seven years have been the warmest on record globally by a clear margin, according to annual data released by the European Union's Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) Monday.
Last year was ranked as the fifth warmest on record with an annual average temperature of 0.3°C above the temperature of the 1991- 2020 reference period.
However, the statistics for the last seven years show that 2021 was ranked among the cooler years alongside 2015 and 2018 with an annual average temperature of 1.1-1.2°C above the pre-industrial level of 1850-1900.
Globally, the first five months of 2021 experienced relatively low temperatures compared to the recent very warm years. Although from June until October, monthly temperatures were consistently at least amongst the fourth warmest on record, the data showed.
Temperatures over the last 30 years, between 1991 and 2020, were close to 0.9°C above the pre-industrial level.
Compared to this latest 30-year reference period, regions with the most above-average temperatures include the west coast of the US and Canada, northeastern Canada and Greenland, as well as large parts of central and northern Africa and the Middle East, Copernicus found.
The most below-average temperatures were found in western and easternmost Siberia, Alaska, central and eastern Pacific as well as in most of Australia and in parts of Antarctica.
Europe's hottest summer on record
Europe experienced its warmest summer on record last year.
For the year as a whole, Europe was just 0.1 °C above the 1991-2020 average, ranking outside the ten warmest years.
Europe saw several high-impact extreme events last summer, Copernicus said, ranging from very heavy rainfall in western and central Europe in July to a heatwave also in July and parts of August, with high temperatures particularly affecting Greece, Spain and Italy.
Carbon dioxide and methane concentrations continue to increase
In conjunction with the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS), C3S also reported that preliminary analysis of satellite measurements confirmed a rise in atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations in 2021.
Carbon dioxide (CO2) levels reached an annual global column-averaged record of approximately 414 parts per million (ppm), and methane (CH4) an annual record of approximately 1,876 parts per billion (ppb), according to the data.
Carbon emissions from wildfires worldwide amounted overall to 1,850 megatons, especially fueled by fires in Siberia. This was slightly higher than last year which stood at 1,750 megatons of carbon emissions, although, the trend since 2003 is declining, Copernicus said.