State of the Climate in 2022
The State of the Climate report continues to advance toward a more comprehensive survey of essential climate variables (ECVs).
Chapter 2 catalogs global climate, Chapter 3 the oceans, Chapter 4 the tropics, Chapters 5 and 6 the high latitudes (Arctic and Antarctic, respectively), and Chapter 7 other specific regions of the globe (North America, Central America/Caribbean, South America, Africa, Europe, Asia, and Oceania). Finally, Chapter 8 is a listing of datasets used in the various sections of the State of the Climate in 2022 and a link to dataset access and further information. Most of the datasets are readily downloadable by the reader who would like to reproduce the results found in the State of the Climate report or investigate further. A new section on lightning documents global distributions and a new section on Arctic Precipitation adds regional insight into the precipitation ECV.
The year 2022 was marked by unusual disruptions in the climate system:
- The first was the third successive year of below-average temperatures in the tropical Pacific. A “triple-dip” La Niña nearly continuous from August 2020 through the end of 2022 marked the first such occurrence in the twenty-first century.
- The second unusual event was the extraordinary amount of precipitation over Antarctica in 2022, which led to a record-high annual surface mass balance (since 1980) and the first net positive annual ice-sheet mass balance on the continent since satellite measurements began in 1993.
- A third event in 2022 was the eruption of the Hunga Tonga–Hunga Ha’apai underwater volcano (HTHH) in January.
- Another instance of volcanic activity with significant effects on the climate observing system was the eruption of Mauna Loa in late November 2022.
All the above singular events, along with the status of ECVs and their implications for Earth’s climate system are detailed in the State of the Climate 2022 due to the persistent dedication of the chapter editors and section authors—this year 576 authors from 66 different countries, including Andorra and Namibia for the first time.