Source: Copernicus/ECMWF

The last 8 years we felt hot and there was a reason – they were.

The world remained firmly in warming’s grip last year, with extreme summer temperatures in Europe, China and elsewhere contributing to 2022 being the fifth-hottest year on record, European climate researchers said on Tuesday. The eight warmest years on record have now occurred since 2014, the scientists, from the European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service, reported, and 2016 remains the hottest year ever. Overall, the world is now 1.2 degrees Celsius (2.1 degrees Fahrenheit) hotter than it was in the second half of the 19th century, when emissions of planet-warming carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels became widespread. Carlo Buontempo, director of the Copernicus service, said the underlying warming trend since the pre-industrial age made 2022’s ranking in the top five “neither unexpected or unsurprising.” “The rare event now would be to see a really cold year,” he said.

2022 average temperature anomaly compared with 1981–2010 average

Source: Copernicus/ECMWF

Last year was the warmest, not a good trend.

Last year was among the warmest despite the persistence of La Niña for the third consecutive year. La Niña is a climate pattern marked by colder-than-normal sea surface temperatures in the equatorial Pacific Ocean that tend to suppress global temperatures. “We are continuing the long-term warming trend of the planet,” said Zeke Hausfather, a researcher at Berkeley Earth, an independent organization that analyzes environmental data. “If you draw a straight line through temperatures since 1970, 2022 lands almost exactly on where you’d expect temperatures to be.” Berkeley Earth will issue its own analysis of 2022 data later this week, as will NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Temperature records broken during Europe’s hottest summer Weather station where record was broken (black triangle) Region where record was broken (brown Area)

on Copernicus ERA5 reanalysis models.

The heat waves were more intense and more frequent.

The Copernicus scientists said Europe had its hottest summer ever in 2022, with several heat waves rolling across the continent that set temperature records in many cities. Separate research has shown that heat waves in Europe are increasing in frequency and intensity at a faster rate than almost anywhere else, fueled by warming but also, most likely, by shifts in atmospheric and oceanic circulation. The effects of such a warm year were felt elsewhere around the world as well. Eastern and Central China, Pakistan and India all experienced lengthy and extreme heat waves in 2022, and monsoon floods in Pakistan ravaged much of the country. The heat and accompanying dryness also contributed to extensive wildfires in the Western United States.

This shows that we need to work together, politicians need to wake up, and business needs to contribute. Good luck!

The last 8 years were hot