PARIS, December 10, 2015 /PRNewswire/ --
- Latest Copernicus data confirm 12-month period to end November 2015 warmest on record.
- Antarctic ozone hole is amongst the largest ever and much deeper than average.
- Indonesia wildfires result in more CO2 than the whole 2013 industrial outputs of the UK or Germany.
As COP21 nears its end, Copernicus, the European Union's flagship for climate and atmospheric analysis, has revealed a year of remarkable climate events.
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Decisions taken at COP21 are set to impact our planet for years to come. Acknowledging that the world's climate is changing, the EU implemented the ambitious Copernicus program to help policy makers, public services and industries to plan for and adapt to a changing world.
Today, at 06.30 pm in the Blue Zone of Le Bourget, the Copernicus programme will present how its data can be, and is already being, used to address the impact of atmosphere and climate changes (See the invitation below).
12-month period to end November 2015 warmest on record
Copernicus data show:
- The global average for the period from December 2014 to November 2015 was the warmest twelve-month average on record, more than 0.4°C above the 1981-2010 average.
- The 15 warmest previous years on record are 1998 and 2001-2014.
- The warmest months on record relative to their 1981-2010 averages are October and November 2015; each was 0.6°C above normal.
The Antarctic ozone hole observed over the last few months is among the largest ever
Copernicus data show:
- The Antarctic ozone hole observed over the last few months is over 25 million km2, approximately the same surface area as North America. It is amongst the largest ever and much deeper than average.
- Though CFCs and most other ozone depleting substances have now been banned for more than 25 years, the concentrations of these substances are still high and, though declining slowly, remain close to their maximum values in the stratosphere.
- Such large ozone hole events may still occur in future years, as projections indicate that the recovery will take decades before they disappear entirely by 2055-2065.
The Copernicus monitoring of wildfires and emissions showed extreme events in Indonesia and relatively high events in Alaska in 2015.
This year's wildfires have been stronger and released significant amounts of CO2in to the atmosphere
- Emissions from the fires in Indonesia released more CO2 in to the atmosphere in September and October 2015 than added by the whole industrial outputs of countries such as Japan, Germany and the UK in 2013. Emissions are estimated to have released around 0.3 Gigatons of carbon (or 1.2 Gigatons CO2) during 2015 so far, with around 80% of those emissions occurring in September and October at the height of the fire activity.
- The Indonesian wildfires have likely been exacerbated by an exceptional 2015 dry season due to the current El Niño event, but illegal land clearing fires are also a significant contributor to the figures.
- The 2015 wildfire season in boreal North America has been particularly strong, exacerbated by persistent dry conditions in the west.
- Approximately 20.600 km2 (around 2.5 million full-size football pitches) have burned in Alaska this year, making 2015 second only to 2004.
- High-latitude wildfires are of particular concern for climate change in the Arctic, where temperatures are increasing at twice the rate of the rest of the planet.