2021 was hot as hell, NASA confirms

MALTA-SIGGIEWI-WILDFIRE-HEATWAVE
Photo taken on Aug. 12, 2021 shows burned bushes after a wildfire caused by high temperature in Siggiewi, Malta. Matla was hit by a heatwave which has swept across the Mediterranean Sea. | Photo by Jonathan Borg/Xinhua via Getty Images

The last eight years have been the eight hottest years on record, NASA and the National Oceanic Administration (NOAA) confirmed today. 2021 ranks as the sixth hottest year on record, the agencies said, as global average temperatures trend upward. Rankings aside, there were plenty of red flags throughout 2021 to show us how remarkable the year was for temperature extremes.

“The fact is that we’ve now kind of moved into a new regime … this is likely the warmest decade in many, many hundreds, maybe 1000s of years,” says Gavin Schmidt, director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies. “There’s enough change that it’s having impacts locally.”

In North America, those local impacts included epically bad summer heat, even for typically…

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Author: Justine Calma