The year 2022 has given “alarming” signs that climate change and its consequences “intensify”. The course will end up among the five or six warmest on record, has seen an acceleration in sea level rise and has been especially “hard” on glacial ice, according to the latest global climate report from the World Meteorological Organization. .
Countries discuss climate again as extreme heat grips the planet
Until now, in 2022 the general temperature of the planet will be 1.15 ºC above what it was in pre-industrial times, so the decade 2013-2022 will have an extra warming of 1.14 degrees. The least harmful limit set by scientists – and included in the Paris Agreement – is 1.5ºC by the end of the century.
“The report is a chronicle of climate chaos,” said UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres. Change “at catastrophic speed, is devastating lives and ways of life on every continent.”
- Europe and extreme temperatures: “The continent has endured numerous and relevant heat waves during the three summer months”.
- Asia with floods and heat waves: The pre-monsoon period was “exceptionally warm” in India and Pakistan that saw falls in their agricultural production. 1,700 people died months later from flooding caused by violent rains in Pakistan.
- Africa: Drought intensified in Kenya, Somalia and Ethiopia. By June 2022, more than 18 million people were estimated to be “food insecure”. Meanwhile, in the south of the continent, “major impact disasters” have occurred without time to recover between them. “The region has been swept by a series of cyclones in just two months.”
- Caribbean and America: on the one hand, Hurricane Ian hit from Cuba to Florida (USA) and on the other, the extraordinary drought has continued in the North American West.
More data. The interim report from the WMO, which appears on the first day of the COP27 climate summit in Egypt, shows that the average sea level has continued to rise and at an accelerated rate. “Since January 2020, the level has risen 10 mm, which seems not much, but it means that, in just two years, it has risen 10% of all the increase measured since 1993,” the organization tries to ponder.
Those who contribute least to climate change are those who suffer the most from its consequences, but even the most prepared societies have suffered this year
Peeteri Taalas, Secretary General of the World Meteorological Organization
In fact, if between 1993 and 2003, the average rise was 2.1mm per year, between 2013 and 2022 the annual average was 4.4mm. The double. “The acceleration is due to the intensification of the melting,” explains the report.
And, of course, the clearly warmer climate that is being recorded in 2022 has been felt in the planet’s cryosphere. “An especially hard year for the glaciers in the Alps”, sentences the work. The average thickness losses have been between 3 and more than 4 meters.
“Extreme events are intensifying and, too often, those who contribute least to climate change are those who suffer most from its consequences,” said the head of the WMO Petteri Taalas. Although “even the most prepared societies have suffered this year the ravages of extreme events.”