The last eight years have been the eight warmest on record, a new report shows. An analysis by the European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service said that 2022 was the fifth-warmest year for the planet since records began. It also reported Europe recorded its warmest summer last year and its second warmest year overall, exceeded only by 2020.
Copernicus described 2022 as “a year of climate extremes” that brought record-breaking heatwaves in Europe, deadly floods in Pakistan, extreme widespread flooding in Australia, and that saw the Antarctic Sea reach its lowest minimum extent on record.
The report said that annual average temperature reached 1.2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, marking the eighth year in a row of temperatures at least 1 degree above the 1850 to 1900 reference period.
Under the 2015 Paris Agreement, most countries agreed to limit warming to well below 2 degrees above pre-industrial levels, but preferably to 1.5 degrees. The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) identified the 1.5-degree mark as a key threshold and said breaching it would dramatically increase the risk of extreme weather events and irreversible changes.