State of the Global Climate 2022

World Meteorological Organization (WMO)
Posted on: 9/25/2023 - Updated on: 9/25/2023

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The publication provides a summary on the state of the climate indicators in 2022, including:

  • Global temperatures trends and its distribution around the globe
  • Most recent finding on Greenhouse Gases concentration, Ocean indicators
  • Cryosphere with a particular emphasis on Arctic and Antarctic sea ice, greenland ice sheet and glaciers and snow cover
  • Stratospheric Ozone
  • Analysis of major drivers of inter-annual climate variability during the year including the El Niño Southern Oscillation and other Ocean and Atmospheric indices
  • Global precipitation distribution over land; extreme events including those related to tropical cyclones and wind storms; flooding, drought and extreme heat and cold events

The publication also provides most recent finding on climate related risks and impacts including on food security, humanitarian and population displacement aspects and impact on ecosystems.

Key messages:

  1. The global mean temperature in 2022 was 1.15 [1.02–1.28] °C above the 1850–1900 average. The years 2015 to 2022 were the eight warmest in the 173-year instrumental record. The year 2022 was the fifth or sixth warmest year on record, despite ongoing La Niña conditions. The year 2022 marked the third consecutive year of La Niña conditions, a duration which has only occurred three times in the past 50 years.
  2. Concentrations of the three main greenhouse gases – carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide – reached record highs in 2021, the latest year for which consolidated global values are available (1984–2021). The annual increase in methane concentration from 2020 to 2021 was the highest on record. Real-time data from specific locations show that levels of the three greenhouse gases continued to increase in 2022.
  3. Around 90% of the energy trapped in the climate system by  greenhouse gases goes into the ocean. Ocean heat content, which measures this gain in energy, reached a new observed record high in 2022.
  4. Despite continuing La  Niña conditions, 58% of the ocean surface experienced at least one marine heatwave during 2022. In contrast, only 25% of the ocean surface experienced a marine cold spell.
  5. Global mean sea level continued to rise in 2022, reaching a new record high for the satellite altimeter record (1993–2022). The rate of global mean sea level rise has doubled between the first decade of the satellite record (1993–2002, 2.27 mm per year) and the last (2013–2022, 4.62 mm per year).
  6. In the hydrological year 2021/2022, a set of reference glaciers with long-term observations experienced an average mass balance of −1.18 metres water equivalent (m w.e.). This loss is much larger than the average over the last decade. Six of the ten most negative mass balance years on record (1950– 2022) occurred since 2015. The cumulative mass balance since 1970 amounts to more than −26 m w.e.
  7. In East Africa, rainfall has been below average in five consecutive wet seasons, the longest such sequence in 40 years. As of August 2022, an estimated 37 million people faced acute food insecurity across the region, under the effects of the drought and other shocks.
  8. Record-breaking rain in July and August led to extensive flooding in Pakistan. There were at least 1 700 deaths, and 33 million people were affected, while almost 8 million people were displaced. Total damage and economic losses were assessed at US$ 30 billion.
  9. Record-breaking heatwaves affected China and Europe during the summer. In some areas, extreme heat was coupled with exceptionally dry conditions. Excess deaths associated with the heat in Europe exceeded 15 000 in total across Spain, Germany, the United Kingdom, France and Portugal.


State of the Global Climate 2022. World Meteorological Organization, 2023. Geneva, Switzerland.

Affiliated Organizations

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) is an intergovernmental organization with a membership of 193 Member States and Territories. It originated from the International Meteorological Organization (IMO), the roots of which were planted at the 1873 Vienna International Meteorological Congress.

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