2022 was not the hottest year on record. It’s nothing to celebrate

1 year ago
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Asia had the second warmest year on record. Temperatures reached 120 degrees Fahrenheit on April 30 in Jacobabad, Pakistan, unseasonably early for the region. When summer came the heat could kill 50,000 people in the European Union it was not until July, when the vegetation dried up, that fires broke out in London, engulfing France, Spain and other European countries. Droughts have punished Europe, the western United States, and China by jeopardizing food supplies. the crop has reached its temperature limitrisking shortages of staple grains and vegetables, and driving up the price of luxuries like wine.

“The UK had the warmest year on record and Western Europe had the warmest summer on record. Not everywhere, not every year, but quite consistently these records are beaten all over the world,” says Schmidt. “We had 40 degrees Celsius [104 degrees F] temperatures in the south of the United Kingdom. This has never happened and they are completely unprepared.”

Courtesy of Berkeley Land

You can see these absurd temperatures on the map above from another 2022. global temperature report published today by the non-profit research group Berkeley Earth, which agrees that this was the fifth warmest year on record. According to their calculations, in 2022 almost 90% of the planet’s surface was significantly warmer than the average temperature between 1951 and 1980.

Notice the cool blue La Niña off the coast of South America and, conversely, how red the Middle East, Asia and Europe are. “Approximately 380 million people live in areas that had the highest absolute temperature on record this year,” says Zeke Hausfather, a Berkeley Earth scientist. “While you can have a lot of year-to-year variability due to ocean dynamics in the Pacific, in the long term, the human-induced warming signal is pretty damn clear.”

The map shows the redness extending into the Arctic, indicating warmer temperatures in the region, which is currently warming four and a half times faster than the global average, scientists announced this summer. This is known as arctic enhancement: as the ice melts beneath it, darker land is revealed that absorbs more solar energy, thereby raising temperatures. You can see how out of control this is in the chart below, also taken from the Berkeley Earth report.

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