What’s the news?
- On the eve of the World Leaders Summit at the Glasgow climate change conference (COP26), WMO’s provisional State of Climate in 2021 report said the mean global sea level rise was 2.1mm per year between 1993 and 2002 and 4.4mm per year between 2013 and 2021.
- The report sighted that sea levels rose mostly due to the loss of ice mass from glaciers and ice sheets. Arctic sea ice was below the 1981-2010 average at its maximum in March.
- Sea ice extent then decreased rapidly in June and early July in the Laptev Sea and East Greenland Sea regions and as a result, the Arctic-wide sea ice extent was at a record low in the first half of July.
- According to WMO’s State of the Climate in Asia report, India lost $87 billion last year due to disasters like tropical cyclones, floods and droughts.
- Sea surface temperatures in and around Asia are increasing more than the global average at three times the rate in the case of the Arabian sea.
- “Due to ice-glacier melting and thermal expansion of water, sea level will rise further by 40cm to 1m by 2100.
- Oceans recorded extreme warming in 2021. The upper 2,000m depth of the ocean continued to warm in 2019 reaching a new record high but a preliminary analysis based on seven global data sets suggests that 2020 exceeded that record too.
- Much of the ocean experienced at least one strong marine heatwave at some point in 2021 except the eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean (due to La Niña) and much of the Southern Ocean as around 90% of the accumulated heat in the earth system is stored in the ocean.
- Eg: The Laptev and Beaufort Sea in the Arctic experienced “severe” and “extreme” marine heatwaves from January to April 2021.
- The past seven years are on track to being the seven warmest on record based on data for the first nine months of 2021.
- Eg: The global mean temperature for 2021 (based on data from January to September) was about 1.09°C above the 1850-1900 average.
- Extreme heat waves affected western North America during June and July, with many places breaking station records by 4°C to 6°C and causing hundreds of heat-related deaths.
- Eg: Lytton, in south-central British Columbia, reached 49.6°C on June 29, breaking the previous Canadian national record by 4.6°C .