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2015-2021 Warmest Years on record – WMO State of the Global Climate 2021 report

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What WMO report says on climate trends

As per the ‘State of the Global Climate 2021 report’ released by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the past seven years from 2015 to 2021 (1st 9-months) set to be witnessed the Warmest years on record.This increase in temperature is caused mainly due to the increase in atmospheric Greenhouse Gas (GHG) concentrations.

  • The report provides a detailed pictures of climate indicators such as greenhouse gas concentrations, temperatures, extreme weather, sea level, ocean warming and ocean acidication, glacier retreat and ice melt, as well as socio-economic impacts.
  • 2021 will be between the 5 and 7 warmest year on record and that 2015 to 2021 will be the seven warmest years on record.

Record High GHG in 2020 – Carbon Dioxide (CO2) was 413.2 parts per million (ppm); Methane (CH4) – 1889 parts per billion (ppb); and Nitrous Oxide (N2O) – 333.2 ppb.

Note – The provisional State of the Climate 2021 report is released at the beginning session of the UN Climate Change negotiations, COP26, in Glasgow, Scotland.

i. Temperature

The report is based on the data of first nine months of the year 2021 and the Global mean temperature in 2021 (1st 9-months) was 1.09°C above the 1850-1900 levels.

ii.Ocean Level 

  • Top 2000-meter layer of the ocean reached a record high temperature in 2020.
  • Ocean absorbed around 23% of global anthropogenic CO2 to the atmosphere and so is becoming more acidic.
  • Due to ocean getting heated, its pH level declines, making it more acidic & reducing its capacity to absorb CO2 from the atmosphere.
  • Global mean sea level rise was 4.4 mm per year between 2013 and 2021 due to the constant increase in loss of ice mass from glaciers and ice sheets.
  • Mass loss from North American glaciers accelerated over the last two decades, nearly doubling for the period 2015-2019 compared to 2000-2004.


  • Extreme rainfall affected parts of China, Western Europe, while in a similar time frame, there was severe drought in subtropical South America.
  • The most significant hurricane of the North Atlantic season was Ida. Ida made landfall in Louisiana on 29 August with sustained 1-minute winds of 240 km/h, the equal-strongest landfall on record for the state,
  • Increase in deaths due to heatwaves and extreme weather led to rise in global hunger levels.

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As per the ‘United in Science 2021’ report released by the WMO, the COVID-19 caused only a temporary decline in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in 2020 & it re-emerged in 2021.

About World Meteorological Organization (WMO): 

Establishment – 23 March 1950

Headquarters – Geneva, Switzerland

Secretary-General – Petteri Taalas