The world in 2021 will be colder than in 2020.This is not good news

NASA and today NOAA abandoned their Annual Analysis of global temperature: Last year was tied for sixth hottest with 2018, but cooler than 2020. That’s a good sign, right? Yes, not at all. At least not.

“It’s easy to want to focus on year-to-year changes,” said NASA oceanographer Bridget Seegers. “But it’s important to focus on trends: the past eight years have been the warmest on record. year.”

To calculate global temperatures, the two agencies take data from weather stations around the world, as well as measurements from ships and buoys in the ocean. Other groups, such as Berkeley Earth, a nonprofit research organization, have taken their own different approaches. But the analyses were nearly identical in their findings. As shown in the graph below, which compares results from Berkeley Earth, NOAA, NASA, and two other organizations in Europe, average global temperatures in 2021 may be lower than in 2020, but still soaring.

Illustration: Berkeley Earth

One reason for cooler temperatures in 2021 could be La Niña, the cold water belt of the Pacific Ocean. It is the product of strong trade winds scouring the ocean, pushing the top water toward Asia, causing deeper, cooler waters to rush to the surface to fill the void.This in turn affects the atmosphere, for example change jet higher than the United States and lead to more hurricanes in the Atlantic Ocean. The ocean itself cools things by absorbing heat from the atmosphere.

The Covid-19 pandemic may have had an additional impact, but not in the way you might think.As the world locks down in 2020, fewer emissions enter the sky, including Aerosol Usually reflects some of the sun’s energy back into space. “If you take them away, you’re making the air cleaner, and that’s bad for the climate,” Gavin Schmidt, director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, said in a news conference Thursday announcing the discovery. A slight warming effect.” But as economic activity picks up in 2021, so does aerosol pollution, again contributing to this cooling effect. The drop in temperatures in 2021 “may be due to a resumption of activity that produces aerosols in the atmosphere,” Schmidt said.

NASA data on decades of rising temperatures

Illustration: NASA/NOAA

(based on the pandemic CO2 drop Production has no cooling effect. Human civilization produces so much of the planet-warming gas every year, and it persists in the atmosphere for so long that the pandemic isn’t even registered as a flash in the pan. )

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