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Earth hits 6th warmest year on record

Earth simmered to the sixth hottest year on record in 2021, according to several newly released temperature measurements.

And scientists say the exceptionally hot year is part of a long-term warming trend that shows hints of accelerating.

Two US science agencies — NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration — and a private measuring group release their calculations for last year’s global temperature today, and all say it wasn’t far behind ultra-hot 2016 and 2020.

Six different calculations found 2021 was between the fifth and seventh hottest year since the late 1800s. NASA says 2021 tied with 2018 for sixth warmest, while NOAA puts last year in sixth place by itself, ahead of 2018.

Scientists say a La Nina — natural cooling of parts of the central Pacific that changes weather patterns globally and brings chilly deep ocean water to the surface — dampened global temperatures just as its flip side, El Nino, boosted them in 2016.

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