2022 Was The 5th Or 6th Hottest Year, According To Scientists

DENVER (AP) — The Earth suffered a persistent fever last year without its high temperatures reaching a record level, but which was among the five or six hottest years on record, government agencies said Thursday.

But before long, years of unprecedentedly high temperatures can be expected due to “inexorable” climate change from the burning of coal, oil and gas, US government scientists said.


Despite the La Niña weather phenomenon, a cooling of the equatorial Pacific that slightly reduces average temperatures worldwide, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) estimates that the global average temperature last year it was 14.76 degrees Celsius (58.55 Fahrenheit), making it the sixth highest in history. NOAA does not include the polar regions due to doubts about the data, but will do so soon.

If the Arctic, which is warming three to four times faster than the rest of the world, and Antarctica were taken into account, the temperature would be the fifth highest, according to NOAA. NASA, which has long included the Arctic in its global calculations, said 2022 basically tied 2015 for the fifth-warmest year on record. Four other agencies or research groups in the world said that 2022 was the fifth or sixth warmest year.

NOAA and NASA records date back to 1880.

NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said the global temperature is “very alarming… We are seeing our climate warming and it is warning us. The forest fires are intensifying. Hurricanes are getting stronger. Droughts are wreaking havoc. Sea levels are rising. Extreme weather patterns threaten our well-being across this planet.”

Berkeley Earth, a nonprofit group of independent scientists, said 2022 was the fifth hottest year on record, noting that 28 countries reached record temperatures, including China, Britain, Spain, France, Germany and New Zealand.

Another group, whose calculations based on satellite observations tend to result in cooler temperatures than other teams of scientists, said it was the seventh warmest year.

Last year was slightly warmer than 2021, although in general the scientific teams say that the big problem is that in the last eight years since 2015, temperatures have exceeded the highest recorded in the world. Each of the past eight years has been at least 1 degree Celsius (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit) warmer than before the industrial age, NOAA and NASA said. Last year, the temperature was 2 degrees Fahrenheit (1.1 degrees Celsius) higher than it was in the mid-19th century, NASA said.

“The last eight years have clearly been warmer than previous years,” said NOAA director of analysis Russ Vose.

In the human body, an extra 1.1 degrees Celsius (2 degrees Fahrenheit) is considered a fever, but University of Oklahoma meteorology professor Renee McPherson, who was not involved in either study group, said current global warming is worse than the equivalent of a planetary fever because a fever can be tended to come down quickly.

“There is no pill for this and the solutions are not easy,” McPherson said. “Rather it’s what might be considered a chronic disease like cancer.”

Like a fever, “every tenth of a degree (Fahrenheit/0.18 Celsius) matters and things are breaking down, that’s what we’re seeing,” said Climate Central chief meteorologist Bernadette Woods Placky. .

The chance of the world exceeding the 1.5 degree Celsius (2.7 degree Fahrenheit) warming threshold set in 2015 is increasing every year, the World Meteorological Organization said. The United Nations climate agency said the past 10 years have been on average 1.14 degrees Celsius (2.05 degrees Fahrenheit) warmer than before the industrial age. Vose noted that there is a 50% chance that 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahreneit) will be reached temporarily in the 2020s.


Seth Borenstein is on Twitter as @borenbears


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