The OMM presents at the beginning of COP27 the report of the global climate status 2022
(sustainabilityenvironment.com) – Eight years ago, climate diplomacy was paving the way for the Paris Climate Agreement a few months later and igniting hopes of limiting global warming below 1.5°c. These eight years, however, were the hottest in history and 2022 is also on track to enter the top 10 (in Italy could become the hottest year since 1800). This figure, contained in the World Meteorological Organization’s 2022 Global Climate Status Report, is enough to underline the urgency that accompanies the first day of work of the COP27 in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt.
All numbers from the 2022 Global Climate Status Report
To understand it, we must read the data on the changing climate and its effects on the planet starting with a precise question: is climate change accelerating? And by how much? According to preliminary data up to October, so far this year the global mercury column has been 1.15°C above the average of the pre-industrial period, that is, the temperature of the second half of the 19th century. The figure is in line, indeed just above, the average for the last 10 years. From 2013 to today the global temperature has grown by 1.14 degrees. But if you take the decade 2011-2020, the average thermal anomaly is 1.09°C. And we must consider that 2022 was dedicated to La Niña, an atmospheric phenomenon that has a cooling effect on the global climate.
The acceleration affects not only temperatures but many other indicators of the health of the planet. The Global State of Climate 2022 – a provisional version, released at the start of work at COP27 – highlights the race against rising sea levels. The rate at which the oceans are rising today is double that of 1993, not even 30 years ago. And over the last two and a half years, we’ve accumulated 10 percent of the total growth we’ve seen in these three decades.
It also accelerates melting of glaciers. Which this year has exceeded all expectations in the Alps, accomplices repeated waves of heat and temperatures that remained above zero even at three thousand meters for several days. The thickness of ice lost in summer varies on average from 3 to 4 meters. From the peaks to the depths. Heat waves in the oceans become more frequent, while cold waves decrease. The first this year reached 55% of the seas, the second only 22%. And the heat content of the oceans is constantly accelerating, particularly in the last 2 decades.
“The higher the heat, the worse the impact. The levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere are now so high that the limit of 1.5°C provided for by the Paris Agreement is barely reachable”, said the Secretary General of the OMM, Petteri Taalas. “For many glaciers it is already too late and melting will continue for hundreds, if not thousands of years, with important implications for water safety”. The rate of sea level rise has doubled in the last 30 years. Even if we still measure it in terms of millimeters per year, the figure amounts to between half or 1 meter per century, a serious and long-term threat to many millions of coastal inhabitants“.