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Earth became a less hospitable place in 2021


Special to The Columbus Dispatch Much of Earth got hotter in 2021, worldwide weather weirder, wildfires more devastating, the atmosphere more problematic, and soil less fertile. In the arider expanses, animal and plant futures became more precarious; forests further diminished; the oceans warmer, higher and more acidic.

Here’s a roundup of some of the findings and phenomena regarding the state of the planet reported this past year:

• Hundreds died during a June heat wave in which Canadian high-temperature records were shattered on three consecutive days. Day three reached 121 degrees in Lytton, British Columbia, a town 90% destroyed soon after by a wildfire.

• June ended as the hottest month ever recorded in North America. Globally, July was the hottest month recorded dating back 142 years.

• Summer land temperatures worldwide broke a record. October land temperatures ended as the Northern Hemisphere’s warmest.

• The highest temperature in the Arctic, 100.4 degrees, occurred in the Siberian town of Verkhoyansk. The Arctic, according to updated computations, is warming four times faster than the rest of the planet, jeopardizing cold-hardy species.• For only the third time, rain was observed falling on the Greenland ice sheet, and this was the latest in the year there was […]

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