EYEWITNESS NEWS (WBRE/WYOU) — NASA and NOAA released their latest global temperature update for 2021 and what this means for the future.

If you thought summer 2021 was hotter than ever before, you would be correct as for many it was.

Locations around the world, including right here in Northeastern and Central Pennsylvania tied or broke heat records throughout the year.

NASA and NOAA have released the latest global temperature update for 2021. Their findings show Earth’s global average surface temperature in 2021 tied with 2018 as the sixth warmest on record.

“We are now in a situation where every year is going to be seeing extremes that has a contribution from that global warming. This is the seventh year in a row that the temperatures have been more than about two degrees Fahrenheit above the late 19th century. That’s enough to be having an effect on daily weather, ” said Dr. Gavin Schmidt, Director, NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies.

NASA experts say global warming is contributing to extremes around the world.

In 2021, we saw plenty of examples from the first-ever rainfall on the Greenland icecap, to a historic late-season wildfire outside Denver, and a devastating tornado outbreak in the midwest.

“A lot of things are fairly obvious. If things are slightly warmer, you get more evaporation of water, that means that storms can carry more moisture, hurricanes can carry more rain, and interesting enough, snowstorms can carry more snow because more water is contained in the atmosphere. When you get to drier areas like out in the west, warmer temperatures mean more drought conditions, more fire conditions, things like that. It seems like everything gets more extreme,” said Michelle Thaller, NASA.

And yet, the term “Global Warming” remains controversial in our society.

“Whatever your political leaning, there are more conservative and liberal ways to think about solving global warming, but the science isn’t conservative or liberal, it’s just the facts. The facts have gotten clearer and clearer and clearer,” said Rabbi Daniel Swartz, Executive Director, Coalition of Environment in Jewish Life.

Lackawanna County’s very own Rabbi Daniel Swartz was one of the 40 religious leaders from around the world invited to Vatican City in October for a climate conference to discuss this very topic.

So, where does humanity go from here?

“If we’re going to take care of this we have to do it as a society and come to some sort of agreement as a nation and world saying these are the steps we are going to take and these are the sacrifices we are going to make for future generations,” explained Rabbi Swartz.

For information on 2021’s heat trend and more information visit NASA’s website.