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Last 7 years hottest on Earth, CO2 methane levels highest: report

Last 7 years hottest on Earth, CO2 methane levels highest: report

The European climate agency Copernicus found that the last seven years on Earth were the hottest on record since the temperature has gone 1.2C above pre-industrial level, carbon dioxide reached record levels and a substantial surge in methane levels, The Guardian reported. The agency inferred these through its first analysis of global temperature in 2021.

However, 2021 finished fifth among the hottest years on record. The agency explains that a natural-cyclic climate phenomenon known as La Nina helped the year by cooling by bringing cold Pacific waters to the surface. Copernicus listed 21 hottest years among 22 since 2000.

Europe had the hottest summer on record, and Sicily broke its maximum temperature record with 48.8C. Intense wildfires happened in Italy, Greece and Turkey while severe floods, which kicked up the global heating, ravaged Germany and Belgium.

In the United States and Canada, "mother of all heatwaves" overtook temperature records by 5C. California's Dixie wildfire was the second largest one in history.

Average CO2 levels reached the record of 414 parts per million (ppm) in 2021, which was 280ppm before Industrial Revolution, while methane levels were nearly three times the rate a decade ago. Copernicus experts say that the concentration of both the greenhouse gases is not slowing down but increasing every year.

The head of Earth Observation for the European Commission, Mauro Faccini, said that the Copernicus findings necessitate urgent action. Carlo Buontempo, director of the Copernicus climate service, said that it is high time we change our ways, take decisive steps towards a sustainable society.

Prof. Rowan Sutton of the University of Reading, UK, says that global warming might be a gradual process, but its impacts are extreme, which is evident from heatwaves in Canada and US as well as floods in Germany.

Meanwhile, the meteorological agency of China has also recently reported that 2021 was the country's hottest year. Northern China had extreme weather, and Henan province was hit with floods taking hundreds of lives.

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