The data is in: 2021 was another no good, very bad year for the planet and the people who live on it.
According to multiple comprehensive assessments of annual surface temperature data published by three national climate monitoring entities this week, 2021 was the one of the hottest years on record. The reports were published by the European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service, the Japan Meteorological Agency, and a consortium of American groups including the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Each of these organizations uses slightly different methods to calculate global surface temperatures, but all the assessments found that 2021 was hotter than any year before 2015 and among the seventh hottest years ever recorded. That’s especially bad considering that these temperatures were recorded in a year when La Niña conditions developed, which should have contributed to slightly cooler temperatures globally. Scientists say it may have been the hottest La Niña year ever.