State of the Global Climate in 2022

State of the Global Climate in 2022 report was released by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) on November 6.

What are the key findings of the report?

Warmest years

  • The past eight years were the warmest in record. This was caused because of the ever-increasing greenhouse gas concentration and accumulated heat.
  • The global mean temperature in 2022 is around 1.15°C above the 1850-1900 pre-industrial average, ranging between 1.02°C to 1.28°C.
  • This is close to 1.5°C – the lower limit set by the 2015 Paris Agreement mandate. The upper limit is 2°C.
  • 2022 is slightly cooler when compared with the past few years because of the rare phenomenon of triple-dip cooling La Niña. This is likely to be 6th or 7th warmest year ever recorded.
  • However, this temporary cooling will be reversed, leading to the occurrence of another warmest year.

Ocean heat and Sea Level Rise

  • Ocean heat was has risen to a record level in 2021 (the latest year assessed). The last two decades recorded the highest rate of ocean warming.
  • The sea level rise has doubled within last 30 years since 1993. It had risen by nearly 10 mm since the beginning of 2020 to a new record high in 2022.
  • The past 2.5 years alone account for around 10 per cent of the overall rise in sea level since the satellite measurement started nearly 3 decades ago.
  • The year 2022 witnessed a record rate of melting of glaciers in the European Alps.
  • The Greenland’s ice sheet lost its mass for the 26th consecutive year. The region witnessed rain instead of snowfall in September 2022 for the first time.
  • Several glaciers are destined to perish since their melting is irreversible. This will adversely affect global water security.
  • With the ever-continuing global warming, sea level is raising half to one meter per century. This is a major long-term threat to millions of people living in coastal regions and low-lying states.

South Asia

  • South Asia, including India, is one of the worst affected regions in 2022 due to climate change.
  • The region topped the chart in the “selected high impact events” of 2022.
  • Temperature in India and Pakistan during pre-monsoon period was exceptionally high.
  • This year, Pakistan had its hottest March and hottest April on record, resulting in reduced crop yields. The country also experienced unprecedented flooding during the monsoon season, with July and August being recorded as the wettest months nationally. About 9 per cent of the area were inundated during the peak flooding. Over 33 million were adversely affected and 7.9 million were displaced. The economically weak and other vulnerable communities are the worst affected.
  • High temperature, wheat export ban and restrictions on rice exports in India threatened the global food industry and caused food insecurity in countries that rely on these goods as staple food. The country witnessed over 700 deaths in 2022 due to flooding and landslides and over 900 deaths because of lightning.
  • Bangladesh witnessed the worst floods in 20 years. This negatively impacted over 7.2 million people, with 481,000 people displaced.

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