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Highest Temperatures Ever in 2021 Led To Catastrophic Weather

Saturday January 29, 2022. 06:34 PM , from Slashdot
NBC News analyzed data from 8,892 weather stations with records going back at least 30 years. 691 of them recorded their highest temperature ever in 2021.

And there's more cause for concern:

Each January, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, NASA and the European Union Earth observation agency Copernicus publish reports on the previous year's temperature data. Copernicus ranked 2021 as the fifth-hottest year since 1850, while NOAA and NASA ranked it as the sixth-hottest since 1880...

In 2021, as Europe recorded its hottest summer, June's weather anomalies in North America were so significant that the continent recorded its hottest June in 171 years, according to the January Copernicus report. The record-breaking heat was even more notable, scientists say, given that 2021 was a La Niña year, in which climate patterns in the Pacific Ocean produce cooler temperatures across the globe.

An August 2021 United Nations International Panel on Climate Change report concluded that climate change caused by humans 'is already affecting many weather and climate extremes in every region across the globe.' Friederike Otto [senior lecturer in climate science at the Grantham Institute for Climate Change and the Environment in London who helped write the report] said that last year's weather events proved 2021 was 'a year that made the evidence unavoidable.' Scientists say damaging spring frosts — such as the one that destroyed winemakers' crops in France last April — are an example of a weather event that is more likely in a warming world. Denis Lesgourgues, co-owner of ChÃteau Haut Selve, a vineyard in southwest France, lost 60 percent of his crop during last year's spring freeze. Warmer winters have caused grapevine buds to grow earlier in the year, leaving them vulnerable to previously harmless early spring frosts. Lesgourgues said that now if the buds are out when the frosts hit, they die and are unable to grow grapes....

In other parts of the world, the increased heat can become a matter of life or death. In Portland, the June heat wave sent temperatures up to 116 degrees, shattering heat records by as much as 9 degrees Fahrenheit (5 degrees Celsius) and killing hundreds of people in the region.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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