Year End Summary of the Lower Troposphere
Better late than never....
Here’s how 2021 stacks up against the last 40 years of lower tropospheric temperature (TLT). The plot below shows each year’s average global temperature (70S to 82.5N) relative to the 1980-2009 mean. 2021 was not the hottest year ever, but was still much warmer than the 1980-2009 average.
If you sort all the years by temperature, you get this plot:
2021 comes out in 6th place, in a “virtual tie” (whatever that means) with 2015 and 2021. Not a record, but still pretty warm, considering that both the 2020-2021 and 2021-2022 were La Niña years. 2020 was tied for the record despite being a La Niña year, but 2020 started in El Niño conditions.
Because 2020 was so warm, 4 months (May, July, August and November) in 2020 were the warmest months ever. No monthly global records were set in 2021. Note that it has been a long time since any record cold months have been observed in the global average.
What’s this all mean? It’s getting warmer because of climate change! It’s gotten to the point where the types of years that are colder that normal (most La Niña years) are now warmer than the El Niño year (1983) at the start of the record. Not Good.