The year 2021 was the fifth warmest year in India since 1901, with the country recording its annual mean air temperature at 0.44 degree Celsius above normal, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said on Friday. The country also reported 1,750 deaths due to extreme weather events such as floods, cyclonic storms, heavy rain, landslides, lightning, among others, during the year, it said.
"The year 2021 was the fifth warmest year after 2016, 2009, 2017 and 2010 since 1901. The annual mean air temperature for the country was recorded at 0.44 degree Celsius above normal," the MeT department's annual climate statement, 2021 stated. "The warm temperature during winter and post-monsoon season mainly contributed to this," it said.
In 2016, the annual mean air temperature for the country was 0.710 degree Celsius above normal. It was 0.550 degree Celsius and 0.541 degree Celsius above the average temperature in 2009 and 2017, respectively. In 2010, the annual mean air temperature stood 0.539 degree Celsius above normal, it said.
The India Meteorological Department said thunderstorms and lightning reportedly claimed 787 lives in India in 2021, while 759 people died in heavy rainfall and flood-related incidents that year, it said.
Cyclonic storms claimed 172 lives and 32 others died due to other extreme weather events, the statement added.
Meanwhile, the earth's global average surface temperature in 2021 tied 2018 as the sixth warmest year on record, and the past eight years are the warmest, according to an independent analysis done by NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), USA.
Continuing the planet's long-term warming trend, global temperatures in 2021 were 0.85 degree Celsius above the average for NASA's baseline period, according to scientists at NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York. NASA uses the period from 1951-1980 as a baseline to see how global temperature changes over time.
With PTI and IANS inputs