The La Niña weather phenomenon, which has a cooling effect, prevented 2022 from being the warmest year on record. The global average temperature in 2022 was around 1.15 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels (1850-1900), compared to 1.09 degrees recorded between 2011 and 2020, indicating that long-term global warming will not shows signs of stopping.

The World Meteorological Organization indicated that 2022 was the fifth or sixth warmest year on record, which adds another doubt to the deep concern that the objective agreed in the Paris Agreement to limit the increase in global warming by 1.5 can be met. degrees Celsius.

The agency also explained that 2022 was the eighth consecutive year in which global temperatures rose at least one degree Celsius above pre-industrial levels, driven by steadily increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases and accumulated heat on the planet. .

The cooling effect of the La Niña phenomenon, now in its third year, prevented 2022 from being the warmest on record.

“This cooling impact will be short-lived and will not reverse the long-term warming trend caused by record levels of heat-trapping greenhouse gases in our atmosphere,” the UN agency warned.

Its experts predict that there is a 60% chance that La Niña will continue until March 2023, after which a period of “ENSO-neutral” conditions would come, that is, a period in which not even the La Niña phenomenon would occur. nor that of El Niño).

Regardless of La Niña, 2022 was marked by dramatic climate change-related weather disasters, from catastrophic floods in Pakistan to deadly heatwaves in China, Europe, North and South America, to relentless droughts that have brought misery for millions of people in the Horn of Africa.

In addition, in late December, strong storms raged across large parts of North America, bringing strong winds, snowfall, flooding, and low temperatures.

Invest in preparation
These emergencies “have claimed far too many lives and livelihoods and have undermined health, food, energy and water security, as well as infrastructure,” said WMO Secretary-General Professor Petteri Taalas, who appealed to all countries to increase preparedness for extreme weather events.

“Today, only half of the 193 (UN) members have adequate early warning services, which causes much greater economic and human losses,” he explained.

Taalas added that “there are also large gaps in basic weather observations both in Africa and in the island states, which has a major negative impact on the quality of weather forecasts.”

Analysis of the data by the UN agency showed that the global average temperature in 2022 was around 1.15C above pre-industrial (1850-1900) levels. This contrasts with 1.09C from 2011 to 2020 and indicates that long-term warming shows no signs of stopping.

scientific approach
“Since the 1980s, each decade has been warmer than the previous one. This trend is expected to continue,” according to the UN agency, which points out that the eight warmest years have all been recorded since 2015; with 2016, 2019 and 2020 making up the top three.

“In 2016 there was an exceptionally strong El Niño phenomenon, which contributed to record global temperatures,” explain experts from the World Meteorological Organization.

To reach its conclusions, the UN agency collated and compared meteorological data sets from the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (NASA GISS); the Hadley Center of the UK Met Office and the University of East Anglia Climate Research Unit (HadCRUT); the Berkeley Earth group, the European Center for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts and its Copernicus Climate Change Service; and the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA).

According to the WMO, millions of meteorological and marine observations were used, including those from satellites, adding that the combination of the observations with the modeled values made it possible to estimate temperatures “at any time and anywhere on the planet, even in areas with scarcity of data such as the polar regions.

WMO also cautioned against placing too much weight on individual year rankings, as “temperature differences between the fourth and eighth warmest years are relatively small.”

Source: News UN


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