That summer of 2022 really was warm And dryWe all noticed. but now Sciences It tells us something else: It was the hottest summer on record in Europe. It also explains why: carbon dioxide inAtmosphere It hasn’t been higher than that in the past two million years, 417 parts per million. And that’s our fault: We’ve pumped greenhouse gases into the air, and we’ve been burning fossil fuels at full speed.
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Record temperature in Europe
Right now, average temperatures are 1.2 degrees higher than pre-industrial levels: it’s almost time to cross the limit we set ourselves with the Paris Agreement and Glasgow ’26, 1.5 degrees. All these alarming figures were provided by Copernicus, the European Union’s Earth Observation Programme. A research center exploiting the European Union’s satellite network and ground surveys. Like every year, it published its global report on climate highlights for 2022. The results were disappointing. Let’s start from last year’s summer in Europe.
It has been the hottest ever recorded on the continent since scientific surveys were carried out, that is, since the second half of the nineteenth century. It also surpassed the summer of 2021, which broke all records. On the other hand, the whole year of 2022 was the second hottest year in history in Europe, and the fifth in the world. But even the other seasons didn’t joke about the last year in the ancient continent. Autumn 2022 was the third warmest on record in Europe, surpassed only by 2020 and 2006. Winter temperatures were about 1 degree warmer than average, making winters among the 10 hottest. According to Copernicus, Europe’s temperature has increased by more than twice the global average over the past 30 years, with the fastest rate of increase of any continent in the world. Several countries in western and southern Europe have recorded their highest temperatures since at least 1950.
We’ve all seen the results: heatwaves, damage to health, droughts, damage to crops, wildfires, and damage to nature. But it does not mean that things have gone better on other continents. Heatwaves and droughts hit Pakistan, India and China. Pakistan also suffered frequent floods in August, which claimed thousands of lives. And as if that weren’t enough, Antarctic sea ice has reached minimum extent in the past 44 years, and for 6 months it has held record levels (negative, unfortunately).
There is only one reason for this exceptional heat all over the world: greenhouse gases emitted by human activities. The average concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere in 2022 was 417 parts per million (ppm), up 2.1 parts per million from the previous year. The average methane concentration reached 1,894 parts per billion (parts per billion), an increase of 12 parts per million from 2021. For both gases, these are the highest concentrations recorded by satellites, and the highest levels in more than two million years for carbon dioxide, and for carbon . More than 800,000 years of methane. In short, despite statements by governments about combating the climate crisis, emissions are not going down, and global warming is advancing.
Copernicus reveals that the average global temperature in 2022 was 1.2 degrees higher than it was in the pre-industrial period (1850-1900). 2022 marked the eighth consecutive year of temperatures more than 1 degree above pre-industrial levels. The Paris Climate Agreement expects to keep the temperature within 2 degrees of the 1850-1900 average, and Glasgow Cup 26 lowered that threshold to 1.5 degrees. But that limit has almost been reached, and it’s almost time to get over it. The only consolation for this black picture of Copernicus comes from the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), which reveals that the ozone hole will close in two decades. The hole has nothing to do with the climate, but it does send a hopeful sign. The ozone problem has been solved by mankind by eliminating CFCs used in refrigerators. On a much larger scale, even the climate crisis can be solved by eliminating greenhouse gases. Just make the effort.
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