Energy & Environment

Last eight years were hottest on record: research

The last eight years were the warmest eight years ever recorded, with 2022 coming in fifth, according to research from the European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service.

The Copernicus analysis found 2022 is the fifth-warmest year on record, but that there are only slight differences in temperature between the fourth through eighth hottest years. The overall hottest years are 2016, a tie between 2020 and 2019, and 2017.

As of 2022, the globe was some 1.2 degrees Celsius hotter than the pre-industrial era. In the past year, global temperatures were over 2 degrees Celsius hotter than the 1991-2020 average over some regions of northern Siberia and the Antarctic Peninsula.

Europe in particular saw its hottest summer on record, shattering the previous year’s record, according to Copernicus data. The year overall was the continent’s second-hottest on record, cooler than 2020 by 0.3 degrees Celsius. Autumn, meanwhile, was Europe’s third-hottest, behind only 2020 and 2006.

Copernicus researchers also found that in spite of international efforts and commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere grew in the last year. Concentrations of carbon dioxide, the most common greenhouse gas, increased by about 2.1 parts per million, while methane increased by 12 parts per billion. Vincent-Henri Peuch, Director of the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service, said in a statement that the increases were due to a combination of natural and human causes.

“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,” Samantha Burgess, deputy director of the Copernicus Climate Change Service, said in a statement. “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.”


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