“Science leaves no room for doubt: Climate change is a threat to the existence of our time,” says NASA chief Bill Nelson.
Earth just wrapped up one of its hottest years on record, something it has been doing for eight consecutive years now.
Independent analysis of last year’s climate data, released Thursday by NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, found that 2021 tied with 2018 for the sixth warmest year since modern record-keeping began in 1880. This is a sign of human-caused climate change, fueled in large part by burning fossil fuels for energy.
“Science leaves no room for doubt: Climate change is a threat to the very existence of our time,” NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said in a release Thursday. “Eight of the top 10 hottest years on our planet occurred in the past decade, an indisputable fact that underscores the need for bold action to protect the future of our country and all of humanity.”
NASA said that Earth’s average temperature in 2021 was about 1.1 degrees Celsius (about 1.9 degrees Fahrenheit), warmer than the average at the start of the Industrial Revolution in the late 19th century. in 2015UN member states set target to limit global warming Celsius above pre-industrial levels. Late last year, at the United Nations’ annual climate conference, , that target was reaffirmed, but meeting that target would require a drastic reduction in carbon emissions.
According to the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, China, the US and the European Union emit the most greenhouse gases today, with the US and Russia accounting for the highest per capita emissions. According to Our World in Data, the US has the highest greenhouse gas emissions during the period from the middle of the 18th century to 2017.