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Map showing sea surface height anomalies between Nov. 26-Dec. 5, 2021, with the dark blues along and just to the north of the equator a sign of La Niña. Height anomalies are used as a proxy for ocean temperatures. Photo: NASA

Despite the second La Niña in a row, 2022 is likely to rank as one of the top 10 warmest years on record globally, the UK Met Office predicts.

Why it matters: Every year since 2015 has been a top 10 warmest year in the Met Office's data set.

Details: La Niña events are characterized by cooler than average temperatures in the equatorial tropical Pacific Ocean, which tend to hold global average temperatures down slightly.

  • The occurrence of such events in consecutive years is known as a "double-dip" La Niña.
  • The average global temperature for 2022 is projected to be between 0.97°C (1.7°F) and 1.21°C (2.2°F) above preindustrial levels, with a central estimate of 1.09°C (1.97°F).
  • This would mark the eighth straight year in which temperatures have exceeded 1.0°C (1.8°F) above pre-industrial levels.

Of note: In a sign of how swiftly and significantly the world is warming, the Met Office says that the El Niño years that occurred at the end of the 1990s, leading to global heat records at the time, now rank lower than 2021 and that 2022 will likely beat them as well.

Go deeper

The most startling facts in 2021 climate report

An unsettling part of the human condition today is that the year you were born will most likely be the coolest year of your life, globally speaking.

By the numbers: Newly released climate data from NOAA, NASA and Berkeley Earth show that the planet has had an unbroken streak of 45 years of warmer than average temperatures.

Updated 18 mins ago - Economy & Business

Tax season nightmare ahead for understaffed IRS

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

The IRS will start accepting 2021 tax returns in less than a week, and the filing delays and administrative headaches to come might eclipse last year — which was “one of the worst filing seasons," according to an independent advocacy agency within the IRS.

Why it matters: For taxpayers, especially with complex or paper filings, this means headaches, delayed refunds, and mistakes.

China builds its own movie empire

Expand chart
Data: Gower Street citing Comscore; Chart: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

China blocked all four of Disney's Marvel movies from being released in its theaters last year, a grim sign for U.S. film giants being squeezed out of the world's fastest-growing box office.

Why it matters: The Chinese Communist Party is using domestic films as a key conduit for mass messaging aimed at achieving political goals, leaving little room for foreign views.

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