Record high temperatures and greenhouse gases seen in 2022

Record high temperatures and greenhouse gases seen in 2022

Extreme temperatures and greenhouse gas concentrations across the globe spiked in 2022, according to newly-released satellite data.

The European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) study shows summer 2022 was the hottest on record for Europe and each summer month in the northern hemisphere was at least the third warmest globally.

Overall, 2022 was the second warmest year on record for Europe, while globally it was the 5th warmest year according to the data.

The annual average temperature was 0.3C above the reference period of 1991-2020, which equates to approximately 1.2C higher than the period 1850-1900.

Atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations increased by approximately 2.1 parts per million, similar to the rates of recent years.

Europe experienced its hottest summer ever recorded, while autumn was the third warmest on record.

Total wildfire emissions for the EU plus UK in summer were the highest in the past 15 years, while France, Spain, Germany, and Slovenia experienced their highest summer wildfire emissions for at least 20 years.

For 2022, temperatures were more than 2C above the average of the 1991–2020 reference period over parts of northern central Siberia and along the Antarctic Peninsula. A number of regions saw the warmest year on record, including large parts of western Europe, and parts of the Middle East, Central Asia and China, New Zealand, northwestern Africa and the Horn of Africa.

Samantha Burgess, the deputy director of C3S, said: “2022 was yet another year of climate extremes across Europe and globally.

“These events highlight that we are already experiencing the devastating consequences of our warming world.

The annual average temperature was 0.3°C above the reference period of 1991-2020 (Copernicus)
The annual average temperature was 0.3°C above the reference period of 1991-2020 (Copernicus)

“The latest 2022 Climate Highlights from C3S provides clear evidence that avoiding the worst consequences will require society to both urgently reduce carbon emissions and swiftly adapt to the changing climate.”

Both polar regions saw episodes of record temperatures during 2022, according to the data.

March saw the Antarctic experience an intense warm period with temperatures well above average. At Vostok station, in the interior of East Antarctica, for example, the reported temperature reached -17.7C, the warmest ever measured in its 65-year record.

The Antarctic saw unusually low sea ice conditions throughout the year, with six months seeing record or near-record low Antarctic Sea ice levels for the corresponding month. During the latter half of February, Antarctic daily sea ice levels reached a new record low, bypassing the previous minimum reached in 2017.