The fifth warmest year on record, 2022 had 18 billion-dollar climate disasters

The world is on fire, as global warming or the rising average temperature on Earth, is the herald of widespread disaster.

Climate experts from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the NASA space agency said the latest analysis of the global temperatures shows that 2022 is in the top five warmest years on record.

The NOAA reported that there were 18 separate billion-dollar weather and climate disaster events identified during 2022 — the third-highest disaster count and the third-costliest year in the 43-year record— but most governments are dawdling on a response to the imminent disasters adumbrated by this situation.

The presentation was made by NASA administrator Bill Nelson; NOAA chief scientist Sarah Kapnick, Ph.D.; Russell Vose, Ph.D., the chief of climate monitoring at NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information; and Gavin Schmidt, Ph.D., director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies.

“Of all the planets NASA has explored, none yet have matched the dynamic complexity of our own Earth, which teems with life and liquid water; massive storms rage over land and oceans; environments range from deserts to tropical forests to the icy poles. And amid all of that, seven billion people carve out a daily life,” said Nelson.

Earth’s average surface temperature in 2022 tied with 2015 as the fifth warmest on record, according to an analysis by NASA.

Continuing the planet’s long-term warming trend, global temperatures in 2022 were 1.6 degrees Fahrenheit (0.89 degrees Celsius) above the average for NASA’s baseline period (1951-1980), scientists from NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York reported.

“This warming trend is alarming,” said Nelson. “Our warming climate is already making a mark: Forest fires are intensifying; hurricanes are getting stronger; droughts are wreaking havoc and sea levels are rising. NASA is deepening our commitment to do our part in addressing climate change. Our Earth System Observatory will provide state-of-the-art data to support our climate modeling, analysis, and predictions to help humanity confront our planet’s changing climate.”

The past nine years have been the warmest years since modern recordkeeping began in 1880. This means Earth in 2022 was about 2 degrees Fahrenheit (or about 1.11 degrees Celsius) warmer than the late 19th-century average.

“The reason for the warming trend is that human activities continue to pump enormous amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, and the long-term planetary impacts will also continue,” said Gavin Schmidt, director of GISS, NASA’s leading center for climate modeling.

Human-driven greenhouse gas emissions have rebounded following a short-lived dip in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Recently, NASA scientists, as well as international scientists, determined carbon dioxide emissions were the highest on record in 2022. NASA also identified some super-emitters of methane – another powerful greenhouse gas – using the Earth Surface Mineral Dust Source Investigation instrument that launched to the International Space Station last year.

The Arctic region continues to experience the strongest warming trends – close to four times the global average – according to GISS research presented at the 2022 annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union, as well as a separate study.

Communities around the world are experiencing impacts scientists see as connected to the warming atmosphere and ocean. Climate change has intensified rainfall and tropical storms, deepened the severity of droughts, and increased the impact of storm surges. Last year brought torrential monsoon rains that devastated Pakistan and a persistent megadrought in the U.S. Southwest. In September, Hurricane Ian became one of the strongest and costliest hurricanes to strike the continental U.S.

%d bloggers like this: