Greenhouse gas and ocean levels hit record highs in 2021 despite COVID impact

(ORDO NEWS) — Earth’s greenhouse gas concentrations and sea levels hit new highs in 2021, according to a US government report released on Wednesday, showing that climate change continues to gain momentum despite efforts to curb emissions.

“The data presented in this report is clear – we continue to see stronger scientific evidence that climate change has global impacts and shows no signs of slowing down,” said Rick Spinrad, Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The rise in greenhouse gases comes despite a weakening of fossil fuel emissions in the previous year, as the global economy slowed down sharply due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The US agency reported that the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere in 2021 was 414.7 parts per million, which is 2.3 parts higher than in 2020.

This level is “the highest in at least the last million years based on paleoclimate data,” according to the annual State of the Climate report.

The world’s sea levels are rising for the 10th year in a row, reaching a new record of 3.8 inches (97 millimeters) above the 1993 average, when satellite measurements began.

Last year was one of the six warmest years on record since the mid-19th century, and the past seven years have been all seven of the hottest years on record, the report said.

The number of tropical storms last year was also well above average, including Typhoon Paradise, which killed nearly 400 people in the Philippines in December, and Ida, which tore through the Caribbean to become the second strongest hurricane to hit Louisiana after Katrina.

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