State of the Global Climate 2022

State of the Global Climate 2022

State of the Global Climate 2022

This article covers “Daily Current Affairs” and the topic details “State of the Global Climate 2022”. The topic “State of the Global Climate 2022” has relevance in the Environment section for the UPSC CSE exam.

Relevance of the topic “State of the Global Climate 2022”

For Prelims:
What is the State of the Global Climate 2022 report?

For Mains:
GS 3: Environment
What are the finding of the State of the Global Climate 2022?

Why in the news?

The World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) has released the report What are the finding of the State of the Global Climate 2022?

What is the State of the Global Climate 2022 report?

The WMO’s State of the Global Climate Report 2022 presents a comprehensive overview of key climate indicators such as:

  1. Greenhouse gases
  2. Temperatures
  3. Sea level rise
  4. Ocean heat and acidification
  5. Sea ice and glaciers

What are the finding of the State of the Global Climate 2022?

  1. The report notes that droughts, floods, and heatwaves continue to affect large parts of the world, and the costs of such events are increasing.
  2. The report highlights that global mean temperatures for the past eight years have been the highest on record.
  3. Sea levels and ocean heat are at unprecedented levels, with the trend projected to continue for centuries.
  4. Antarctic sea ice has reached its lowest extent on record, and Europe has experienced record-breaking glacier melt.

What are the Socioeconomic and environmental impacts of climatic changes as highlighted in the report?

  • Drought: Climate change can exacerbate drought conditions by altering precipitation patterns, increasing evaporation rates, and drying out soils.
      • For example, the drought gripped East Africa, as of January 2023, it was estimated that over 20 million people faced acute food insecurity across the region, under the effects of the drought and other shocks.
  • Excessive Rain: Climate change can also cause an increase in excessive rain or heavy precipitation events in some regions. Warmer air can hold more moisture, leading to more intense rainfall events when precipitation does occur.
      • For example, Record-breaking rain in July and August led to extensive flooding in Pakistan. There were over 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. July (181% above normal) and August (243% above normal) were each the wettest on record nationally.
  • Heatwaves: High temperatures during heatwaves can cause heat stress and heatstroke, particularly among vulnerable populations such as the elderly, young children, and those with pre-existing health conditions.
    Heatwaves can also increase the risk of wildfires, damage to infrastructure such as roads and buildings, and power outages.
      • For example, Record-breaking heatwaves affected 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 UK, France, and Portugal.
      • Heatwaves in the 2022 pre-monsoon season in India and Pakistan caused a decline in crop yields. This, combined with the banning of wheat exports and restrictions on rice exports in India after the start of the conflict in Ukraine, threatened the availability, access, and stability of staple foods within international food markets and posed high risks to countries already affected by shortages of staple foods.
      • China had its most extensive and long-lasting heatwave since national records began, extending from mid-June to the end of August and resulting in the hottest summer on record by a margin of more than 0.5 °C. It was also the second-driest summer on record.
  • Food insecurity: Climate change can also have significant impacts on food security by altering agricultural productivity, water availability, and food systems. 
      • For example, as of 2021, 2.3 billion people faced food insecurity, of which 924 million people faced severe food insecurity. Projections estimated 767.9 million people facing undernourishment in 2021, 9.8% of the global population. Half of these are in Asia and one third in Africa.
  • Displacement: As extreme weather events such as floods, hurricanes, and droughts become more frequent and severe, they can lead to the destruction of homes and infrastructure
      • For example, in Somalia, almost 1.2 million people became internally displaced by the catastrophic impacts of drought on pastoral and farming livelihoods and hunger during the year.
  • Environment: Climate change has important consequences for ecosystems and the environment.
    • For example, a recent assessment focusing on the unique high-elevation area around the Tibetan Plateau, the largest storehouse of snow and ice outside the Arctic and Antarctic, found that global warming is causing the temperate zone to expand.


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