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State of the Global Climate 2022

GS Paper 3

 Syllabus: Environment, Conservation


Source: IE

 Context: According to the World Meteorological Organisation’s (WMO) annual ‘State of the Global Climate 2022’ report, from mountain peaks to ocean depths, climate change continued its advance in 2022.


Highlights of the report- State of the Global Climate 2022:

In 2022, two climate modes – the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) – contributed to major weather and climate events across large areas of the world.
Global mean temperatureThe global mean temperature in 2022 was 1.15°C above the 1850-1900 average.


The years 2015 to 2022 were the eight warmest in the instrumental record back to 1850.


This was despite three consecutive years of a cooling La Niña.

Concentrations of the three main greenhouse gases – carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxideReached record observed highs in 2021.


The annual increase in methane concentration from 2020 to 2021 was the highest on record.


The 3 continued to increase in 2022.

Reference glaciers


Experienced an average thickness change of over 1.3 metres between October 2021 and October 2022.
Sea ice in AntarcticaDropped to 1.92 million km2 on February 25, 2022, the lowest level on record and almost 1 million km2 below the long-term (1991-2020) mean.
Ocean heat contentAround 90% of the energy trapped in the climate system by GHGs goes into the ocean.


Ocean warming rates have been particularly high in the past two decades.


Despite continuing La Niña conditions, 58% of the ocean surface experienced at least one marine heatwave during 2022.

Global mean sea level (GMSL) The rate of global mean sea level rise has doubled between (1993-2002, 2.27 mm∙yr-) and (2013-2022, 4.62 mm∙yr).
Ocean acidificationCO2 reacts with seawater resulting in a decrease of pH referred to as ‘ocean acidification’.


Ocean acidification threatens organisms and ecosystem services.


The ocean surface pH is now the lowest and current rates of pH change are unprecedented.


Socio-economic and environmental impacts
Extreme Weather Events: Drought gripped East Africa, Record-breaking rain in July and August led to extensive flooding in Pakistan, and Record-breaking heat waves affected Europe during the summer. The unusual heat in Europe last year led to the deaths (15,000) than any other single extreme climate event.

 Food insecurity: As of 2021, 2.3 billion people faced food insecurity, of which 924 million people faced severe food insecurity.

 Displacement: In Somalia, almost 1.2 million people became internally displaced by the catastrophic impacts of drought.

 Environment: Global warming is causing the temperate zone to expand, and climate change is also affecting recurring events (trees blossom, birds migrate) in nature, etc.


India-specific findings and predictions:

Heatwaves in the 2022 pre-monsoon season in India caused a decline in crop yields. A number of forest fires, particularly in Uttarakhand.

This, combined with the banning of wheat exports and restrictions on rice exports in India, posed high risks to countries already affected by shortages of staple foods.

The Indian Monsoon onset was earlier and the withdrawal was later than normal in 2022. The majority of the Indian subcontinent was wetter than average.

Heatwave conditions existed even in February which is not even a summer month.

After a relatively cool March, heat waves were back in April.

With the La Nina phase getting over, and forecasts of El Nino taking over in a few months, this year is predicted to be warmer than 2022.

The IMD has predicted a normal monsoon this year, but the impact of El Nino led to fears that rainfall might be suppressed.

Insta Links:

Synthesis Report of IPCC AR6