WMO Report: Climate Change’s Unrelenting Advance in 2022
Climate change relentlessly progressed in 2022, with droughts, floods, and heatwaves impacting communities worldwide and costing billions of dollars, according to the World Meteorological Organization’s (WMO) annual State of the Global Climate report. The report reveals that Antarctic sea ice reached its lowest extent on record, and European glaciers experienced unprecedented melting.
The years 2015-2022 were the eight warmest on record, despite the cooling effect of a La Niña event. WMO Secretary-General Prof. Petteri Taalas emphasized that continuous drought in East Africa, record-breaking rainfall in Pakistan, and heatwaves in China and Europe affected tens of millions of people, drove food insecurity, and increased mass migration. Growing undernourishment has been worsened by compound effects of hydrometeorological hazards, COVID-19, and ongoing conflicts.
UN agencies have effectively collaborated to address humanitarian impacts induced by extreme weather and climate events. The UN Early Warnings for All Initiative, aiming to ensure that every person on earth is covered by early warning services, currently serves as a reminder that about 100 countries lack adequate weather services. To achieve this ambitious project, investments in observation networks, early warning, hydrological, and climate service capacities are needed.
The WMO State of the Global Climate report highlights climate change’s effects on ecosystems and the timing of natural events like tree blossoming and bird migration. It also emphasizes the significance of transitioning to renewable energy, which has become more accessible and affordable due to advancements in technology. UN Secretary-General António Guterres stressed the need for accelerated climate action and increased investments in climate adaptation and resilience to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
The 2022 WMO report follows the release of the State of the Climate in Europe report by the EU’s Copernicus Climate Change Service and complements the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Sixth Assessment report. Experts from National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs), Global Data and Analysis Centers, Regional Climate Centres, World Climate Research Programme (WCRP), Global Atmosphere Watch (GAW), Global Cryosphere Watch, and Copernicus Climate Change Service contributed to the report. United Nations partners included organizations like FAO, UNESCO-IOC, IOM, UNEP, UNHCR, UNDRR, and WFP.