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Post at: Jul 18 2022

State of the Global Climate 2021 Report

Recent context

  • The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) State of the Global Climate 2021 report was launched on 18 May, 2022.
  • The flagship annual report gives details of climate indicators such as temperatures, ocean heat, ocean acidification, sea level rise, sea ice glaciers and extreme weather.

Importance of the Report 

  • The report complements the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) Sixth Assessment report, which includes data up to 2019.
  • The WMO State of the Global Climate report will be used as an official document for the UN Climate Change negotiations known as COP27 to take place in Egypt later this year.
  • It provides information and practical examples for policymakers on how the climate change indicators outlined in the IPCC reports played out during recent years.

Major highlights of the report

  • The report confirms that the past seven years have been the warmest seven years on record. 
  • Four key climate change indicators – Greenhouse gas concentrations, Sea-level rise, Ocean heat and Ocean acidification – set new records in 2021.
  • The global mean temperature in 2021 was around 1.11 ± 0.13 °C above the 1850–1900  pre-industrial average. 
  • Global mean sea level reached a new record high in 2021, rising an average of 4.5 mm per year over the period 2013–2021.
  • The Antarctic ozone hole reached a maximum area of 24.8 million kmsq. in 2021. This unusually deep and large ozone hole was driven by a strong and stable polar vortex and colder-than-average conditions in the lower stratosphere.
  • Greenland experienced an exceptional mid-August melt event and the first-ever recorded rainfall at Summit Station.
  • Drought affected many parts of the world, including areas in Canada, United States, Islamic Republic of Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Turkey and Turkmenistan.
  • The compounded effects of conflict, extreme weather events and economic shocks, further exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, undermined decades of progress towards improving food security globally. 
  • Internal displacement due to Hydro-meteorological hazards recorded with China (more than 1.4 million), Viet Nam (more than 664 000) and the Philippines (more than 600 000).

Risks and Impact

  • Climate-related events pose humanitarian risks to society through impacts on health, food and water security as well as human security, human mobility, livelihoods, economies, infrastructure and biodiversity.
  • These negative environmental effects include impacts on the land such as droughts, wildfires in forest and peatland areas, land degradation, sand and dust storms, desertification, flooding and coastal erosion.
  • The compounded effects of conflict have led to a rise in hunger, undermining decades of progress towards improving food security.
  • Refugees, internally displaced people and stateless people are often among those most vulnerable to climate and weather-related hazards.
  • Extreme climate events and conditions had major and diverse im_pacts on population displacement and on the vulnerability of people already displaced throughout the year.

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