The years 2015-2022 were the hottest years recorded in the world

According to the European Copernicus program, 2022 was a period of extreme climate.

Record temperatures, wildfires and a steady rise in greenhouse gas concentrations: On Tuesday, the European Copernicus program considered five points of 2022 marked by extremes.

Globally, thermal anomalies are becoming… the norm

According to Europe’s Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S), the global average temperature last year was about 1.2°C warmer than it was between 1850 and 1900. Several regions of the world, such as Western Europe, the Middle East, China and South Korea, experienced record years. But “overview“More important than annual anomalies: because if 2016 remains the warmest year,” C3S director Carlo Buontempo recalled during a press conference on Tuesday.2022 matches the past eight years, which are the eight warmest years globally», all recorded at least +1°C compared to pre-industrial times.

Temperature anomalies in 2022. Copernicus.

Polar alert

At the poles, the average temperature rises faster; According to a study published in the journal Communications Earth & Environment, the Arctic has even warmed nearly four times faster than the rest of the world over the past forty years. Last year was no exception to this trend: temperatures in northern central Siberia and the Antarctic Peninsula were more than 2°C above the 1991-2020 average. For example, temperatures in central Greenland in September were 8°C above average, a monthly record for most of the island since at least 1979. Last February, ice in Antarctica reached its lowest extent in 44 years by satellite. celebration at this time of year.

Temperature records in Europe

2022 is the second hottest year on record (and the hottest summer) at European level, but tops the chart in several Western European countries such as France, Great Britain, Spain or Portugal.

2022 ranking in Europe in terms of average annual temperature. Copernicus

According to the Copernicus program, “Temperatures in Europe have more than doubled the global average over the past three decades, and the rate of increase is the highest of any continent in the world.“, according to the World Meteorological Organization, by +0.5°C per decade.

Empty sunbeds on dry grass in Hyde Park, West London, July 19, 2022. NIKLAS HALLE / AFP

CO2 emissions increase as a result of fires

Heat and drought have increased flammability and fire risk. According to the European Forest Fire Information System (Effis) and Copernicus, more than 785,000 hectares of land were burned in 2022 in France alone. This is more than twice the average of the past fifteen years, resulting in carbon emissions estimated at 9 megatons (when one tree burns, carbon dioxide is released as a result of combustion).

Moulleau beach as smoke rises from the Gironde forest fire in La Teste-de-Buch, July 18, 2022. THIBAUD MORITZ / AFP

France, Spain, Germany and Slovenia saw their highest summer carbon dioxide emissions from forest fires in at least 20 years.Copernicus says. This has led to deterioration of air quality at the local level.

There is no slowing of the increase in the concentration of greenhouse gases

Greenhouse gases, especially carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4), are key drivers of climate change, and our monitoring activities show that their concentrations in the atmosphere continue to increase with no signs of slowing down.“, Vincent-Henri Peuch, director of the Copernicus Atmospheric Monitoring Service, explains in a press release.

Evolution of atmospheric CO2 and MH4 concentrations between 2003 and 2022. Copernicus

This concentration reached an annual average of 417 ppm (parts per million) for carbon dioxide and 1,894 ppb (parts per billion) for methane in 2022. These are the highest concentrations” More than 2 million years for CO2 and more than 800,000 years for CH4», according to the Copernican program.

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