The past 8 years have been the hottest on record on Earth: ScienceAlert

The past 8 years have been the hottest on record on Earth: ScienceAlert

The past 8 years have been the hottest on record on Earth: ScienceAlert

The past eight years have been the warmest on record, even with the cooling influence of a La Niña climate model since 2020, the European Union’s climate monitoring service said on Tuesday.

Average temperatures in 2022 – which have seen a cascade of unprecedented natural disasters made more likely and deadly by climate change – make it the fifth hottest year since records began in the 19th century, according to the Copernicus Climate Change Service.

Pakistan and northern India were scorched by a two-month spring heat wave with sustained temperatures well above 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit), followed in Pakistan by floods that covered a third of the country, affected 33 million people and caused some 30 US dollars. billions of dollars in damage and economic loss.

France, Britain, Spain and Italy set new average temperature records for 2022, with Europe as a whole suffering its second hottest year on record, Copernicus said in an annual report.

Heat waves across the continent were compounded by severe drought conditions.

European temperatures have risen more than twice the global average over the past 30 years, with the region showing the highest rate of increase of any continent on the globe.

“2022 has been another year of climate extremes in Europe and around the world,” Samantha Burgess, deputy director of the Copernicus climate change service, said in a statement.

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

Large swaths of the Middle East, China, Central Asia and North Africa also experienced unprecedented heat on average across 2022.

China and Western Europe reported negative impacts on agriculture, river transport and energy management related to weather conditions.

‘No sign of slowing down’

Earth’s polar regions also experienced record high temperatures last year.

The remote station of Vostok, located deep in the interior of East Antarctica, reached a relatively mild temperature of minus 17.7 degrees Celsius (0.14 degrees Fahrenheit), the hottest temperature ever measured in 65 years of history.

Antarctic sea ice reached its lowest minimum extent in 44 years of satellite recording in February, during the Southern Hemisphere summer.

At the other end of the globe, Greenland experienced temperatures 8 degrees Celsius above average in September, accelerating the loss of the ice sheet that has become a major contributor to sea level rise.

According to Copernicus, the hottest years on record globally so far are – in descending order – 2016, 2020, 2019 and 2017.

Atmospheric concentrations of the two main greenhouse gases responsible for global warming – carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) – also continued a decades-long rise to record highs.

CO2 levels reached 417 parts per million – the highest level in over 2 million years. Methane rose to 1,894 parts per billion at levels not seen in 800,000 years.

“Atmospheric concentrations continue to rise with no signs of slowing down,” said Vincent-Henri Peuch, director of Copernicus’ atmospheric monitoring service.

A world just 1.2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels has already been rocked by heat waves, droughts and record high temperatures, and is heading for a disastrous 2.8 degrees Celsius above that benchmark.

The Paris Agreement, agreed by nearly every nation in the world in 2015, calls for capping global warming at 1.5 degrees Celsius, which scientists say would limit climate impacts to manageable levels.

But CO2 and CH4 emissions from the production and use of fossil fuels – the main driver of warming – have continued to rise, even as the decarbonisation of the global economy has accelerated.

© Agence France-Presse

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