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854. Climate in 2022 and Outlook for 2023

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854. Climate in 2022 and Outlook for 2023

On September 6, 2023, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released its annual report, titled State of the Climate in 2022, delivering an alarming message. The report revealed that numerous key indicators of climate change, such as greenhouse gas concentration, global sea level and ocean heat content, have reached record highs in 2022. 

According to the report, atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), and nitrous oxide (N2O) have risen to historic highs, exceeding levels observed in the past 800,000 years of paleoclimate records and recorded history. These concentrations now exceed pre-industrial levels by more than 50%. In particular, atmospheric methane concentrations have increased by an alarming 165% compared to pre-industrial levels, while nitrous oxide levels have also increased, reflecting recent emissions trends.

Adding to the concern, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) reported on September 6, 2023 that the average temperature for August 2023 was 20.98°C, a staggering 1.5°C higher than the 1850-1900 average. This made it the hottest August on record, following closely behind July 2023 as the second hottest month on record, and the third hottest month on record if the June-August period for 2023 is considered. This alarming temperature spike is linked to the El Niño effect expected in 2023, raising fears of even more extreme heat compared to 2022.

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres expressed grave concern, characterizing our planet's recent experience as a "season of simmering"."  He issued a stark warning, declaring that "climate breakdown has begun" and emphasized the urgent need to accelerate efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to avert a catastrophic worst-case scenario.



Contributor: IIYAMA Miyuki (Information Program)


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