The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has confirmed the past 8 years have been the warmest on record globally.

Global temperature continue to be fueled by ever-rising greenhouse gas concentrations and accumulated heat, according to six leading international temperature datasets consolidated by the WMO. 

Among the findings, the review shows the average global temperature in 2022 was about 1.15°C above the pre-industrial (1850-1900) levels. 

The datasets also reveal that 2022 was the 8th consecutive year (2015-2022) that annual global temperatures have reached at least 1°C above pre-industrial levels, with 2015 to 2022 being the eight warmest years on record. 

The data shows the likelihood of breaching the 1.5°C limit of the Paris Agreement is increasing with time.

The persistence of a cooling La Niña event, now in its third year, means that 2022 was not the warmest year on record, but is “only” the fifth or sixth warmest. 

However, this cooling impact will be short-lived and will not reverse the long-term warming trend caused by record levels of heat-trapping greenhouse gases in Earth’s atmosphere. 

The WMO El Niño/La Niña Update indicates about a 60 per cent chance that La Niña will persist during January-March 2023, and should be followed by ENSO-neutral conditions (neither El Niño or La Niña).

The 10-year average temperature for the period 2013-2022 is 1.14°C above the 1850-1900 pre-industrial baseline. 

This compares with 1.09°C from 2011 to 2020, as estimated by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Sixth Assessment report, and indicates that long-term warming continues.

“In 2022, we faced several dramatic weather disasters which claimed far too many lives and livelihoods and undermined health, food, energy and water security and infrastructure. Large areas of Pakistan were flooded, with major economic losses and human casualties. Record breaking heatwaves have been observed in China, Europe, North and South America. The long-lasting drought in the Horn of Africa threatens a humanitarian catastrophe,” says WMO secretary-general Professor Petteri Taalas.

“There is a need to enhance preparedness for such extreme events and to ensure that we meet the UN target of Early Warnings for All in the next five years,” said Professor Taalas. “Today only half of 193 Members have proper early warning services, which leads to much higher economic and human losses. There are also big gaps in basic weather observations in Africa and island states, which has a major negative impact on the quality of weather forecasts.”