2022: a year in global climate 

Today, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has released the State of the Global Climate report 2022. In an exclusive interview with the Met Office Omar Baddour – the WMO’s head of Climate Monitoring and Policy Services – discussed the latest findings. 

The report focuses on key climate indicators, including greenhouse gases, temperatures, sea level rise, ocean heat and acidification, sea ice and glaciers. On the Met Office’s Weather Snap podcast Omar shared some of the report’s findings.  

It is fair to say that the State of the Global Climate report for last year – with its litany of negative indicators – makes unpleasant reading for all those concerned about the impacts of climate change. 

Omar said: “I would say that 2022 was the busiest year in terms of extreme weather events, with member states reporting around 500 extreme weather and climate events worldwide.” The duration of these events varies from the brief ferocity of tropical cyclone Ian which wrought havoc on the southern United State and Cuba to the long-term drought in East Africa which Omar regards as the worst in four decades. Of course, both of these events and hundreds of others too brought considerable humanitarian impacts with the tragedy of loss of life and damage to local communities and infrastructure. 

With searing temperatures affecting many nations from the UK to India and Pakistan, 2022 will be remembered by many as the year of the heatwave. The increasing intensity of heatwave is no surprise to Omar. He said: “The heat waves are the most evident sign of climate change because they are directly associated with increasing temperature; and increasing temperature is directly associated with increasing greenhouse gas concentration; which in turn are associated with human anthropogenic factors. 

“This is why, for instance, we are reaching records which have been never recorded in the past, like in Europe, but also in many parts of the world in the East Asia, in the Middle East, in North America and so forth.  

“So, with the current trend of carbon-dioxide emissions and greenhouse gas concentration increasing, we can only say that the frequency, unfortunately will still be going on in the future if nothing is done to accelerate the mitigation efforts.” 

The WMO press release emphasises the following key indicators: 

  • Drought, floods and heatwaves affect large parts of the world and the costs are rising
  • Global mean temperatures for the past eight years have been the highest on record
  • Sea levels and ocean heat content are at record levels
  • Antarctic sea ice falls to lowest extent on record
  • Europe shatters records for glacier melt

The Met Office along with a large number of National Meteorological and Hydrological Services are key contributors to the report. 

For the interview with Omar Baddour listen to the latest Weather Snap podcast.

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