Climate: 2022 is the 5th hottest year on the planet
2022 is the 5th warmest year on a planetary scale by the European climate observatory COPERNICUS. It is the 2nd warmest year on European scale. Our continent is the most warming continent on the planet France just had its hottest year ever. How to explain such a development?
5th warmest year on the planet
The planet experienced its 5th warmest year in 2020, +1.2°C above pre-industrial levels in 1850 and +0.3°C above the 1991 average. However, it is worth noting the slight difference in uncertainty associated with this ranking. Positions 5 and 7 will be refined once all data sets are available by April 2023 at the latest. We also observe that the warmest years have all occurred since 2014, with the last 8 years being +1°C above pre-industrial levels.
This ranking in the 5th position comes when the climate is under the influence of La Nina, an oceanic phenomenon in the Pacific Ocean known to have cooling effects at the planetary level. This could mean that the predicted end of La Nina in 2023 will be accompanied by further increases in global temperatures.
No month in 2022 reached all-time warmest records worldwide, but June, July and August each ranked among the three warmest months.
The basic climate facts May to October was marked by very long and intense heat waves in the Northern Hemisphere, particularly in India and China, while in August, floods associated with a very wet monsoon wreaked havoc in Pakistan. In addition, La Nina continued for the 3rd year in a row in the Pacific, resulting in a cooler and wetter climate in Australia.
In February 2022, Antarctica experienced its smallest area in 44 years of satellite measurements, while the Arctic remains the area of the world experiencing the most global warming.
Europe: 2nd warmest year
2022 is the 5th warmest year © Weather Channel
2022 was the second warmest year in Europe after 2020 since records began. It was even the warmest year since 1900, including several countries. FranceFor example, Spain and Great Britain. Our continent is also the fastest warming on the planet, especially due to the fact that it faces the Atlantic Ocean. It also warms, especially on the eastern side that washes Europe, which accelerates the continental warming by changing the centers of motion (the sub-Saharan anticyclone is stronger and wider towards the north).
It became one of the main features of 2022 in Europe drought, affected many countries. Heat waves were frequent from May to October. Without reaching the intensity of the 2003 heat wave, the 2022 heat waves were more frequent, leading to higher average summer temperatures than in 2003. The summer of 2022 was the hottest ever recorded across Europe.
Europe: second warmest year © Weather Channel
Greenhouse gases will reach a record level in 2022
The concentration of greenhouse gases in the planet’s atmosphere continues to rise, with the two main culprits being carbon dioxide and methane. However, for these two gases, their rate remains the same as in the last two years.
Increase in greenhouse gases © COPERNICUS
Will the expected return of El Niño this year directly affect Europe’s climate?
El Nino is the opposite of La Nina in the Pacific Ocean. While La Nina refers to a cold anomaly in the waters of the Pacific Ocean, El Niño is characterized by a warm anomaly. These anomalies cover such large areas that they are capable of changing the climate of the intertropical zone. Indirect consequences can be felt in more distant regions through the “domino effect”. But for Europe, “teleconnections” are not obvious. While El Nino tends to raise global temperatures, there is no clear direct link with European climate. Thus, it can be said that 2023 could be warmer than 2022 at the planetary level (see Met Office in early January), but without further details on Europe.
As a result, the hottest years at the planetary level have occurred since 2014, and Europe, which is warming faster than other continents, experienced its hottest summer and second hottest year in 2022. The La Nina phenomenon in the Pacific Ocean is sure to be the 5th warmest year this year, but the end of La Nina this year could cause these planetary temperatures to rise again.