The world’s oceans are set to see their warmest and slower years on record in 2021, as melting ice sheets helped raise sea levels to new heights, the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) announced Wednesday.

The oceans have seen the most noticeable extremes this year as the WMO detailed a series of turbulences caused by climate in its annual State of the Global Climate Report: Statement 2021 en 1 _ .pdf

“Our climate is changing before our eyes. The heat trapped by human-induced greenhouse gases will warm the planet for many generations to come,” said World Meteorological Organization Secretary-General Petteri Taalas in a statement.

The WMO report follows the United Nations’ latest Climate Assessment that warns that humanity will have to drastically reduce its greenhouse gas emissions, or face more disasty changes to the world climate.

Levels of carbon dioxide and methane in the atmosphere have topped previous records in 2021, the WMO said.

Global average temperature last year was 1.11 C higher than the pre-industrial average as the world nears the 1.5 C threshold, above which the impact of warming is set to be severe.

Last year’s temperatures were moderated slightly more than in 2020 as an extension of the cooling effects of La Nina in the Pacific, although it was still one of the seven warmest years on record.

The oceans are responsible for most of the warming and emissions.

World Meteorological Organization

The World Meteorological Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations responsible for promoting international cooperation on atmospheric science, climatology, hydrology and geophysics. (wikipedia)