In terms of global average surface temperature, the past eight years have been the hottest eight years on record since the mid-19th century (1850-2022). Furthermore, 2022 was the hottest year on record for 28 countries.
In 2022, persistent drought in East Africa, record-breaking rainfall in Pakistan, and unprecedented heatwaves in China and Europe affected tens of millions of people, resulting in food insecurity, large-scale migration, and billions of dollars in losses and damages.
The World Meteorological Organization’s “State of the Climate 2022” report, released on April 21st, listed the five most significant climate events globally in 2022. Among them, the heatwaves, droughts, and wildfires in Europe and China ranked third and fourth, respectively. For example, in the UK, the average summer temperature in previous years was around 23°C, but last summer, temperatures soared to 41°C, surpassing the heat of the Sahara Desert. Without adequate coping measures, thousands of people in Europe died from heatwaves and extreme temperatures.
Specifically for China, the “2022 Climate Bulletin for China” indicated that the spring, summer, and autumn seasons of 2022 all experienced historically high temperatures. The number of hot days nationwide reached a historical high, and the occurrences of extreme high-temperature events were the highest since 1961, with 366 meteorological stations surpassing their historical highest temperatures.
On April 25th, a study published in “Nature Communications” by researchers from the University of Bristol in the UK identified eight high-risk areas globally that are significantly affected by heatwaves, and Beijing, China made the list . Cai Wenjia, a professor in the Department of Earth Sciences at Tsinghua University and director of the Countdown Asia-Pacific Center, told “Intellectuals” that from 1986 to 2005, Beijing experienced an average of about four heatwave days per year. In 2022, that number has already reached around 15 days, and under the high warming scenario RCP8.5, the average number of heatwave days per year could increase to forty or fifty.