The Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S), implemented by the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF), has released its annual Global Climate Highlights report, detailing how several high temperature records were broken both in Europe and across the world in 2022.
According to the summary, Europe saw its hottest summer ever recorded and several prolonged and intense heatwaves affected parts of Western and Northern Europe. C3S’s ERA5 data set once again concurred with other widely used temperature data sets that European temperatures have increased by more than twice the global average over the past 30 years and have the highest rate of increase of any continent in the world.
Mauro Facchini, head of Earth observation at the Directorate General for Defence Industry and Space, European Commission, said, “In our efforts to tackle climate change at global, European or national level it is clear that high-quality Earth observation data, information and knowledge are essential. C3S provides authoritative and timely monitoring of the changing climate which informs adaptation efforts.”
During 2022, the world experienced its fifth warmest year on record, according to the C3S ERA5 data set, but only by a very small margin. Other widely used temperature data sets are likely to rank 2022 slightly differently. So far, the hottest years on record globally are 2016, 2020 and 2019 and 2017.
According to ERA5, the annual average temperature was 0.3°C above the reference period of 1991-2020, which equates to approximately 1.2°C higher than the period 1850-1900, typically used as a proxy for the pre-industrial era. This makes 2022 the eighth year in a row of temperatures more than 1°C above the pre-industrial level. Further, each boreal summer month during 2022 was at least the third warmest globally.
Samantha Burgess, deputy director of C3S, added, “2022 was yet another year of climate extremes across Europe and globally. These events highlight that we are already experiencing the devastating consequences of our warming world. The latest 2022 Climate Highlights from C3S provides clear evidence that avoiding the worst consequences will require society to both urgently reduce carbon emissions and swiftly adapt to the changing climate.”
For 2022, temperatures were more than 2°C above the average of the 1991–2020 reference period over parts of northern central Siberia and along the Antarctic Peninsula. A number of regions saw the warmest year on record, according to the ERA5 data set. Over land, this includes large parts of Western Europe and parts of the following regions: Middle East, Central Asia and China, New Zealand, northwestern Africa and the Horn of Africa.
C3S will comprehensively review different 2022 climate events in Europe in its annual European State of the Climate report, due to be published in April 2023.
To view the C3S Global Climate Highlights 2022 summary, click here.