The World Meteorological Organization's State of Global Climate Report brings together all climate indicators and events reported by the member countries and partner agencies during 2022 (greenhouse gases, temperatures, droughts, precipitation rates, glacier melt, etc.) in one assessment. The report also focuses on the impacts and consequences of climate events, addresses population displacement caused by dangerous weather and climate events, and identifies the effects on ecosystems and the environment vital to humans.
Climate change has continued to advance during 2022, setting, once again, records never seen before. Global mean temperatures for the past eight years were the highest on record (despite a third consecutive year of cooling due to the ‘La Nina’ climate phenomena). Sea level and ocean heat are at record levels, Antarctic sea ice has fallen to the lowest extent on record, and Europe shattered records for glacier melt. In total, 477 extreme events have been reported by member countries this year, including heatwaves. The climate events that had the greatest impact in 2022 were: the drought in the Greater Horn of Africa (the largest drought in 40 years that threatened a food crisis for 20 million people in Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia), floods in Pakistan (9% of the country was inundated, affecting 30 million people), and heat, droughts and wildfires in Europe and China. In 2022 large areas were reported with above-normal precipitation in Asia, the southwest Pacific, areas of northern South America and the Caribbean, the eastern Sahel region, parts of southern Africa, Sudan, and Eastern Europe. Meanwhile, regions with rainfall deficits were reported in western and central Europe, northwest Africa, parts of the Middle East, Central Asia and the Himalayas, Eastern Africa, and Madagascar, central and southern South America, and Central and western North America.
WMO also presented the work of three forward-looking initiatives to help with climate research, knowledge, and prediction GCOS (Global Climate Observation System), SOFF (Systemic Observations financing facility), and the Early Warnings for All initiative.
The report shows that the ocean continued to warm in 2022, with thermal expansion of the ocean contributing to rising global sea levels. The sea has risen approximately 3.4 ± 0.3 mm per year over the past 30 years. The report notes that the ocean absorbs 25% of annual emissions of anthropogenic CO2, but at a high ecological cost. Arctic sea-ice extent was below the long-term average for most of the year. Antarctic sea-ice extent dropped to 1.92 million km2 in February 2022, the lowest level on record. The Greenland Ice Sheet ended with a negative total mass balance for the 26th year in a row.
The State of Global Climate Report was only possible due to the collaboration of a huge number of experts from the National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs), the World Data and Analysis Centres, Regional Climate Centres, the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP), the Global Atmosphere Watch (GAW), the Global Cryosphere Watch and the Copernicus Climate Change Service, operated by the ECMWF. This report adds to others, including the EU Copernicus Climate Change Service's State of the Climate in Europe report and the Sixth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), to provide insight into the current and projected future state of the climate system.