Summer 2022 Was Europe's Hottest on Record

The last eight years on Earth have been the hottest on record, with climate extreme weather events increasing significantly in 2022.
By Paolo DeAndreis
Jan. 18, 2023 17:25 UTC

The last eight years have been the warmest ever recorded, and in 2022, the Earth’s sur­face tem­per­a­ture reached peaks not seen since 1940. Europe also expe­ri­enced its hottest sum­mer ever.

The 2022 global cli­mate report issued by the European Union Copernicus Climate Change Service shows that 2022 was a record year for extreme weather events. They have plagued farm­ing and affected pop­u­la­tions at all lat­i­tudes.

Last year, the entire globe was affected by the per­sis­tence of the La Nina phe­nom­e­non, which pro­voked an abnor­mal cool­ing of the oceans.

Such con­di­tions are typ­i­cally asso­ci­ated with large-scale weather events, such as the droughts found in vast areas of the U.S., Europe and China or the mas­sive floods that hit Pakistan in August.

Additionally, Pakistan and India were struck by pro­longed heat­waves in May and June, with sig­nif­i­cant heat­waves also hit­ting China and Europe in sub­se­quent weeks.

See Also:Temperatures Rising Faster in Europe than Anywhere Else, Report Finds

The swel­ter­ing sum­mer weighed on the European pop­u­la­tion and cur­tailed farm­ing, includ­ing olive oil pro­duc­tion. Low rain­fall lev­els reported in west­ern and south­ern Europe con­tributed to the drought con­di­tions that so heav­ily slashed agri­cul­tural pro­duc­tion. The heat waves also did not spare north­ern Europe.

On top of that, the world’s most rel­e­vant olive oil-pro­duc­ing region has seen an increase in the num­ber of wild­fires trig­gered by dry con­di­tions. In 2022, coun­tries such as Spain, France, Germany, and Slovenia recorded the high­est wild­fire emis­sions in the last 20 years.

According to Copernicus, sur­face tem­per­a­tures in Europe con­tinue to grow more than the global aver­age. In the last 30 years, they have risen twice as fast as any other con­ti­nent.

The regions that saw the warmest year on record, includ­ing large parts of west­ern Europe, the Middle East, Central Asia and China, South Korea, New Zealand, north-west­ern Africa and the Horn of Africa,” a Copernicus press note high­lighted.

In 2022, record tem­per­a­tures were also reported in the Earth’s polar regions.

Experts con­sider human activ­i­ties to be the main trig­ger of the cur­rent global cli­mate cri­sis. These activ­i­ties cause the release of green­house gases into the atmos­phere, thus rais­ing the sur­face tem­per­a­ture.

More specif­i­cally, Copernicus recorded that car­bon diox­ide con­cen­tra­tions have grown by 2.1 parts per mil­lion (ppm), which is con­sis­tent with the trend of the past few years. Other rel­e­vant pol­luters, such as methane, have increased by 12 parts per bil­lion (ppb), slightly higher than aver­age but below the record highs of the last two years.

This resulted in an annual aver­age for 2022 of approx­i­mately 417 ppm for car­bon diox­ide and 1894 ppb for methane. For both gases, this is the high­est con­cen­tra­tions from the satel­lite record, and by includ­ing other records, the high­est lev­els for over 2 mil­lion years for car­bon diox­ide and over 800.000 years for methane,” the Copernicus obser­va­tory reported.

Greenhouse gases, includ­ing car­bon diox­ide and methane, are the main dri­vers of cli­mate change, and we can see from our mon­i­tor­ing activ­i­ties that atmos­pheric con­cen­tra­tions are con­tin­u­ing to rise with no signs of slow­ing,” said Vincent-Henri Peuch, direc­tor of the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service.


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