The UN confirms that the last eight years are the hottest on record

Last year was “only” the fifth or sixth warmest on record thanks to the persistence of the La Nina weather phenomenon, according to the World Meteorological Organization.

The World Meteorological Organization confirmed that it was the warmest year in eight years, despite the continuation of the La Nina phenomenon, which only temporarily mitigates the effects of global warming.

Six major international datasets compiled by the World Trade Organization point to the same culprits: “increasingly higher concentrations of greenhouse gases and heat sinks,” the UN agency said, confirming the results of the European Copernicus climate change program published on Tuesday. and those published simultaneously on Thursday by the United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NOAA) and NASA.

In 2022, the average global temperature was about 1.15 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, that is, before humanity injected large amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. , WMO notes.

Last year marked the eighth year in a row that the global annual temperature was at least 1 degree Celsius above the level observed between 1850 and 1900.

The 2015 Paris Climate Agreement called for limiting global warming to 1.5°C, which scientists say will limit the effects of climate change to manageable levels.

But the WMO warned on Thursday that “the probability of temporarily exceeding -1.5°C is increasing over time”.

A phenomenon until March

The warming has been somewhat moderated by La Nina, a weather phenomenon that has been around since 2020 and tends to lower ocean temperatures.

This phenomenon may still last until March, the UN stressed, before a neutral period is followed, marked by the absence of La Nina as its opposite, El Niño.

For the planet as a whole, the WMO emphasized that La Nina’s effects would be “short-lived” and would not “reverse the long-term warming trend caused by record levels of greenhouse gases trapping heat in our atmosphere.

Last year was “only” the fifth or sixth warmest on record, the World Trade Organization said.

2016 is on the first step of the podium, followed by 2019 and 2020.

But several regions are on track for record temperatures in 2022: the polar regions, as well as large areas of the Middle East, China, Central Asia and North Africa.

Copernicus noted that Europe experienced its second hottest year on record in 2022 as France, England, Spain and Italy set new average temperature records.

Heat waves and drought have created conditions for spectacular fires to occur in the Old Continent

“Dramatic Weather Disasters”

In 2022, “we faced several dramatic weather disasters that killed too many people, destroyed livelihoods and disrupted health, food, energy and water access and infrastructure,” UNO chief Petteri Taalas condemned in a press release.

He also recalled the devastating floods that have submerged a third of Pakistan and warned of a “humanitarian disaster” in the Horn of Africa, which has been suffering from drought for several seasons.

“The long-term warming trend continues,” the UNO notes.

“Each decade since the 1980s has been warmer than the previous one,” and the 10-year average temperature for 2013-2022 is 1.14 degrees above pre-industrial levels, compared with 1.09 degrees between 2011 and 2020 estimated by the IPCC was. .

Faced with more and more extreme weather events, Petteri Taalas insists on the absolute need to “step up preparedness”.

It’s a theme UN chief Antonio Guterres took up at COP 27, where he announced a $3 billion-plus plan to ensure the entire world is covered by early warning systems by 2027.

The head of OMM emphasized that currently only half of the 193 member countries have this type of system, which “aggravates economic and human losses”.

Data gaps due to lack of resources – especially in Africa – also have a major negative impact on the quality of weather forecasts.

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