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2022 was the fifth warmest year on record

According to a new analyses conducted by NASA, the Earth’s average temperature in 2022 tied with that of 2015 as the fifth warmest on record. As our planet’s climate continues to warm, global temperatures in 2022 were 1.6 degrees Fahrenheit (0.89 Celsius) above the average for NASA’s baseline period (1951-1980).

“This warming trend is alarming,” said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson. “Our warming climate is already making a mark: forest fires are intensifying; hurricanes are getting stronger; droughts are wreaking havoc, and sea levels are rising. NASA is deepening our commitment to do our part in addressing climate change. Our Earth System Observatory will provide state-of-the-art data to support our climate modeling, analysis, and predictions to help humanity confront our planet’s changing climate.”

The analysis revealed that the past nine years were the warmest since modern recordkeeping began in 1880, with the Earth in 2022 being about two degrees Fahrenheit (1.1 Celsius) warmer than in the late 19th century. “The reason for the warming trend is that human activities continue to pump enormous amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, and the long-term planetary impacts will also continue,” said Gavin Schmidt, an expert in Climate Modeling at NASA.

After a short-lived dip at the beginning of 2020 – due to Covid-19 related lockdowns – greenhouse gas emissions bounced back, with CO2 emissions reaching their highest levels on record in 2022, and methane emissions continuing to rise alarmingly too. The Arctic is experiencing the strongest warming trends, close to four times the global average.

Communities around the globe are currently experiencing increasingly negative impacts of global warming, such as intensified rainfall and tropical storms, and more severe droughts. If the climate continues to warm at this unprecedented pace, such extreme weather events will become more frequent and their consequences will be more dramatic, endangering not only human populations all around the world, but also a variety of vital ecosystems that sustain our planet. Massive reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, together with a rapid switch to sustainable energy sources, are urgently needed to save our planet from a climate catastrophe.

NASA’s full dataset of global surface temperatures through 2022 is available here

By Andrei Ionescu, Staff Writer

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