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Lijing Cheng
,
Kevin E. Trenberth
,
Nicolas Gruber
,
John P. Abraham
,
John T. Fasullo
,
Guancheng Li
,
Michael E. Mann
,
Xuanming Zhao
, and
Jiang Zhu

Abstract

Ocean salinity records the hydrological cycle and its changes, but data scarcity and the large changes in sampling make the reconstructions of long-term salinity changes challenging. Here, we present a new observational estimate of changes in ocean salinity since 1960 from the surface to 2000 m. We overcome some of the inconsistencies present in existing salinity reconstructions by using an interpolation technique that uses information on the spatiotemporal covariability of salinity taken from model simulations. The interpolation technique is comprehensively evaluated using recent Argo-dominated observations through subsample tests. The new product strengthens previous findings that ocean surface and subsurface salinity contrasts have increased (i.e., the existing salinity pattern has amplified). We quantify this contrast by assessing the difference between the salinity in regions of high and low salinity averaged over the top 2000 m, a metric we refer to as SC2000. The increase in SC2000 is highly distinguishable from the sampling error and less affected by interannual variability and sampling error than if this metric was computed just for the surface. SC2000 increased by 1.9% ± 0.6% from 1960 to 1990 and by 3.3% ± 0.4% from 1991 to 2017 (5.2% ± 0.4% for 1960–2017), indicating an acceleration of the pattern amplification in recent decades. Combining this estimate with model simulations, we show that the change in SC2000 since 1960 emerges clearly as an anthropogenic signal from the natural variability. Based on the salinity-contrast metrics and model simulations, we find a water cycle amplification of 2.6% ± 4.4% K−1 since 1960, with the larger error than salinity metric mainly being due to model uncertainty.

Open access
Yuying Pan
,
Lijing Cheng
,
Karina von Schuckmann
,
Kevin E. Trenberth
,
Guancheng Li
,
John Abraham
,
Yuanxin Liu
,
Viktor Gouretski
,
Yongqiang Yu
,
Hailong Liu
, and
Chunlei Liu

Abstract

As a major component of Earth’s energy budget, ocean heat content (OHC) plays a vital role in buffering climate change. The annual cycle is the most prominent change in OHC but has always been removed to study variations and changes in Earth’s energy budget. Here, we investigate the annual cycle of the upper-2000-m OHC at regional to global scales and assess the robustness of the signals using the spread of multiple observational products. The potential drivers are also investigated by comparing the annual OHC signal with the corresponding change in top-of-atmosphere radiation, surface heat flux, ocean heat divergence, and meridional heat transport. Results show that the robust signal of annual OHC change is significant down to a 1000-m depth globally and can reach down to 1500 m in some areas such as the tropical ocean. The global OHC (0–1500 m) changes from positive anomalies within September–February to negative anomalies within March–August, mainly because of the larger ocean area in the Southern Hemisphere and the seasonal migration of solar irradiance. Owing to the huge ocean heat capacity, the annual cycle of OHC dominates that of the global energy budget. The difference among the OHC annual cycles in the three major ocean basins is mainly attributed to ocean heat transport, especially in the tropics. In the upper 1500 m at mid- and high latitudes and in the upper 50 m of the tropics, the net sea surface heat flux dominates the OHC annual cycle, while in the tropics below 50 m, wind-driven Ekman heat transport associated with the geostrophic flow is the main driver.

Open access
Lijing Cheng
,
John Abraham
,
Gustavo Goni
,
Timothy Boyer
,
Susan Wijffels
,
Rebecca Cowley
,
Viktor Gouretski
,
Franco Reseghetti
,
Shoichi Kizu
,
Shenfu Dong
,
Francis Bringas
,
Marlos Goes
,
Loïc Houpert
,
Janet Sprintall
, and
Jiang Zhu

Abstract

Expendable bathythermograph (XBT) data were the major component of the ocean temperature profile observations from the late 1960s through the early 2000s, and XBTs still continue to provide critical data to monitor surface and subsurface currents, meridional heat transport, and ocean heat content. Systematic errors have been identified in the XBT data, some of which originate from computing the depth in the profile using a theoretically and experimentally derived fall-rate equation (FRE). After in-depth studies of these biases and discussions held in several workshops dedicated to discussing XBT biases, the XBT science community met at the Fourth XBT Science Workshop and concluded that XBT biases consist of 1) errors in depth values due to the inadequacy of the probe motion description done by standard FRE and 2) independent pure temperature biases. The depth error and temperature bias are temperature dependent and may depend on the data acquisition and recording system. In addition, the depth bias also includes an offset term. Some biases affecting the XBT-derived temperature profiles vary with manufacturer/probe type and have been shown to be time dependent. Best practices for historical XBT data corrections, recommendations for future collection of metadata to accompany XBT data, impact of XBT biases on scientific applications, and challenges encountered are presented in this manuscript. Analysis of XBT data shows that, despite the existence of these biases, historical XBT data without bias corrections are still suitable for many scientific applications, and that bias-corrected data can be used for climate research.

Full access
Kirsten L. Findell
,
Rowan Sutton
,
Nico Caltabiano
,
Anca Brookshaw
,
Patrick Heimbach
,
Masahide Kimoto
,
Scott Osprey
,
Doug Smith
,
James S. Risbey
,
Zhuo Wang
,
Lijing Cheng
,
Leandro B. Diaz
,
Markus G. Donat
,
Michael Ek
,
June-Yi Lee
,
Shoshiro Minobe
,
Matilde Rusticucci
,
Frederic Vitart
, and
Lin Wang

Abstract

The World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) envisions a world “that uses sound, relevant, and timely climate science to ensure a more resilient present and sustainable future for humankind.” This bold vision requires the climate science community to provide actionable scientific information that meets the evolving needs of societies all over the world. To realize its vision, WCRP has created five Lighthouse Activities to generate international commitment and support to tackle some of the most pressing challenges in climate science today. The overarching goal of the Lighthouse Activity on Explaining and Predicting Earth System Change is to develop an integrated capability to understand, attribute, and predict annual to decadal changes in the Earth system, including capabilities for early warning of potential high impact changes and events. This article provides an overview of both the scientific challenges that must be addressed, and the research and other activities required to achieve this goal. The work is organized in three thematic areas: (i) monitoring and modeling Earth system change; (ii) integrated attribution, prediction, and projection; and (iii) assessment of current and future hazards. Also discussed are the benefits that the new capability will deliver. These include improved capabilities for early warning of impactful changes in the Earth system, more reliable assessments of meteorological hazard risks, and quantitative attribution statements to support the Global Annual to Decadal Climate Update and State of the Climate reports issued by the World Meteorological Organization.

Open access
Gregory C. Johnson
,
Rick Lumpkin
,
Simone R. Alin
,
Dillon J. Amaya
,
Molly O. Baringer
,
Tim Boyer
,
Peter Brandt
,
Brendan R. Carter
,
Ivona Cetinić
,
Don P. Chambers
,
Lijing Cheng
,
Andrew U. Collins
,
Cathy Cosca
,
Ricardo Domingues
,
Shenfu Dong
,
Richard A. Feely
,
Eleanor Frajka-Williams
,
Bryan A. Franz
,
John Gilson
,
Gustavo Goni
,
Benjamin D. Hamlington
,
Josefine Herrford
,
Zeng-Zhen Hu
,
Boyin Huang
,
Masayoshi Ishii
,
Svetlana Jevrejeva
,
John J. Kennedy
,
Marion Kersalé
,
Rachel E. Killick
,
Peter Landschützer
,
Matthias Lankhorst
,
Eric Leuliette
,
Ricardo Locarnini
,
John M. Lyman
,
John J. Marra
,
Christopher S. Meinen
,
Mark A. Merrifield
,
Gary T. Mitchum
,
Ben I. Moat
,
R. Steven Nerem
,
Renellys C. Perez
,
Sarah G. Purkey
,
James Reagan
,
Alejandra Sanchez-Franks
,
Hillary A. Scannell
,
Claudia Schmid
,
Joel P. Scott
,
David A. Siegel
,
David A. Smeed
,
Paul W. Stackhouse
,
William Sweet
,
Philip R. Thompson
,
Joaquin A. Triñanes
,
Denis L. Volkov
,
Rik Wanninkhof
,
Robert A. Weller
,
Caihong Wen
,
Toby K. Westberry
,
Matthew J. Widlansky
,
Anne C. Wilber
,
Lisan Yu
, and
Huai-Min Zhang
Free access
G. C Johnson
,
R Lumpkin
,
C Atkinson
,
Tiago Biló
,
Tim Boyer
,
Francis Bringas
,
Brendan R. Carter
,
Ivona Cetinić
,
Don P. Chambers
,
Duo Chan
,
Lijing Cheng
,
Leah Chomiak
,
Meghan F. Cronin
,
Shenfu Dong
,
Richard A. Feely
,
Bryan A. Franz
,
Meng Gao
,
Jay Garg
,
John Gilson
,
Gustavo Goni
,
Benjamin D. Hamlington
,
W. Hobbs
,
Zeng-Zhen Hu
,
Boyin Huang
,
Masayoshi Ishii
,
Svetlana Jevrejeva
,
W. Johns
,
Peter Landschützer
,
Matthias Lankhorst
,
Eric Leuliette
,
Ricardo Locarnini
,
John M. Lyman
,
Michael J. McPhaden
,
Mark A. Merrifield
,
Alexey Mishonov
,
Gary T. Mitchum
,
Ben I. Moat
,
Ivan Mrekaj
,
R. Steven Nerem
,
Sarah G. Purkey
,
Bo Qiu
,
James Reagan
,
Katsunari Sato
,
Claudia Schmid
,
Jonathan D. Sharp
,
David A. Siegel
,
David A. Smeed
,
Paul W. Stackhouse Jr.
,
William Sweet
,
Philip R. Thompson
,
Joaquin A. Triñanes
,
Denis L. Volkov
,
Rik Wanninkhof
,
Caihong Wen
,
Toby K. Westberry
,
Matthew J. Widlansky
,
J. Willis
,
Ping-Ping Xie
,
Xungang Yin
,
Huai-min Zhang
,
Li Zhang
,
Jessicca Allen
,
Amy V. Camper
,
Bridgette O. Haley
,
Gregory Hammer
,
S. Elizabeth Love-Brotak
,
Laura Ohlmann
,
Lukas Noguchi
,
Deborah B. Riddle
, and
Sara W. Veasey
Open access
Gregory C. Johnson
,
Rick Lumpkin
,
Tim Boyer
,
Francis Bringas
,
Ivona Cetinić
,
Don P. Chambers
,
Lijing Cheng
,
Shenfu Dong
,
Richard A. Feely
,
Baylor Fox-Kemper
,
Eleanor Frajka-Williams
,
Bryan A. Franz
,
Yao Fu
,
Meng Gao
,
Jay Garg
,
John Gilson
,
Gustavo Goni
,
Benjamin D. Hamlington
,
Helene T. Hewitt
,
William R. Hobbs
,
Zeng-Zhen Hu
,
Boyin Huang
,
Svetlana Jevrejeva
,
William E. Johns
,
Sato Katsunari
,
John J. Kennedy
,
Marion Kersalé
,
Rachel E. Killick
,
Eric Leuliette
,
Ricardo Locarnini
,
M. Susan Lozier
,
John M. Lyman
,
Mark A. Merrifield
,
Alexey Mishonov
,
Gary T. Mitchum
,
Ben I. Moat
,
R. Steven Nerem
,
Dirk Notz
,
Renellys C. Perez
,
Sarah G. Purkey
,
Darren Rayner
,
James Reagan
,
Claudia Schmid
,
David A. Siegel
,
David A. Smeed
,
Paul W. Stackhouse
,
William Sweet
,
Philip R. Thompson
,
Denis L. Volkov
,
Rik Wanninkhof
,
Robert A. Weller
,
Caihong Wen
,
Toby K. Westberry
,
Matthew J. Widlansky
,
Josh K. Willis
,
Lisan Yu
, and
Huai-Min Zhang
Free access
Molly Baringer
,
Mariana B. Bif
,
Tim Boyer
,
Seth M. Bushinsky
,
Brendan R. Carter
,
Ivona Cetinić
,
Don P. Chambers
,
Lijing Cheng
,
Sanai Chiba
,
Minhan Dai
,
Catia M. Domingues
,
Shenfu Dong
,
Andrea J. Fassbender
,
Richard A. Feely
,
Eleanor Frajka-Williams
,
Bryan A. Franz
,
John Gilson
,
Gustavo Goni
,
Benjamin D. Hamlington
,
Zeng-Zhen Hu
,
Boyin Huang
,
Masayoshi Ishii
,
Svetlana Jevrejeva
,
William E. Johns
,
Gregory C. Johnson
,
Kenneth S. Johnson
,
John Kennedy
,
Marion Kersalé
,
Rachel E. Killick
,
Peter Landschützer
,
Matthias Lankhorst
,
Tong Lee
,
Eric Leuliette
,
Feili Li
,
Eric Lindstrom
,
Ricardo Locarnini
,
Susan Lozier
,
John M. Lyman
,
John J. Marra
,
Christopher S. Meinen
,
Mark A. Merrifield
,
Gary T. Mitchum
,
Ben Moat
,
Didier Monselesan
,
R. Steven Nerem
,
Renellys C. Perez
,
Sarah G. Purkey
,
Darren Rayner
,
James Reagan
,
Nicholas Rome
,
Alejandra Sanchez-Franks
,
Claudia Schmid
,
Joel P. Scott
,
Uwe Send
,
David A. Siegel
,
David A. Smeed
,
Sabrina Speich
,
Paul W. Stackhouse Jr.
,
William Sweet
,
Yuichiro Takeshita
,
Philip R. Thompson
,
Joaquin A. Triñanes
,
Martin Visbeck
,
Denis L. Volkov
,
Rik Wanninkhof
,
Robert A. Weller
,
Toby K. Westberry
,
Matthew J. Widlansky
,
Susan E. Wijffels
,
Anne C. Wilber
,
Lisan Yu
,
Weidong Yu
, and
Huai-Min Zhang
Free access
Tim Boyer
,
Ellen Bartow-Gillies
,
A. Abida
,
Melanie Ades
,
Robert Adler
,
Susheel Adusumilli
,
W. Agyakwah
,
Brandon Ahmasuk
,
Laura S. Aldeco
,
Mihai Alexe
,
Eric J. Alfaro
,
Richard P. Allan
,
Adam Allgood
,
Lincoln. M. Alves
,
Jorge A. Amador
,
John Anderson
,
B. Andrade
,
Orlane Anneville
,
Yasuyuki Aono
,
Anthony Arguez
,
Carlo Arosio
,
C. Atkinson
,
John A. Augustine
,
Grinia Avalos
,
Cesar Azorin-Molina
,
Stacia A. Backensto
,
Stephan Bader
,
Julian Baez
,
Rebecca Baiman
,
Thomas J. Ballinger
,
Alison F. Banwell
,
M. Yu Bardin
,
Jonathan Barichivich
,
John E. Barnes
,
Sandra Barreira
,
Rebecca L. Beadling
,
Hylke E. Beck
,
Emily J. Becker
,
E. Bekele
,
Guillem Martín Bellido
,
Nicolas Bellouin
,
Angela Benedetti
,
Rasmus Benestad
,
Christine Berne
,
Logan. T. Berner
,
Germar H. Bernhard
,
Uma S. Bhatt
,
A. E. Bhuiyan
,
Siiri Bigalke
,
Tiago Biló
,
Peter Bissolli
,
W. Bjerke Jarle
,
Kevin Blagrave
,
Eric S. Blake
,
Stephen Blenkinsop
,
Jessica Blunden
,
Oliver Bochníček
,
Olivier Bock
,
Xavier Bodin
,
Michael Bosilovich
,
Olivier Boucher
,
Deniz Bozkurt
,
Brian Brettschneider
,
Francis G. Bringas
,
Francis Bringas
,
Dennis Buechler
,
Stefan A. Buehler
,
Brandon Bukunt
,
Blanca Calderón
,
Suzana J. Camargo
,
Jayaka Campbell
,
Diego Campos
,
Laura Carrea
,
Brendan R. Carter
,
Ivona Cetinić
,
Don P. Chambers
,
Duo Chan
,
Elise Chandler
,
Kai-Lan Chang
,
Hua Chen
,
Lin Chen
,
Lijing Cheng
,
Vincent Y. S. Cheng
,
Leah Chomiak
,
Hanne H. Christiansen
,
John R. Christy
,
Eui-Seok Chung
,
Laura M. Ciasto
,
Leonardo Clarke
,
Kyle R. Clem
,
Scott Clingan
,
Caio A.S. Coelho
,
Judah L. Cohen
,
Melanie Coldewey-Egbers
,
Steve Colwell
,
Owen R. Cooper
,
Richard C. Cornes
,
Kris Correa
,
Felipe Costa
,
Curt Covey
,
Lawrence Coy
,
Jean-François Créatux
,
Lenka Crhova
,
Theresa Crimmins
,
Meghan F. Cronin
,
Thomas Cropper
,
Molly Crotwell
,
Joshua Culpepper
,
Ana P. Cunha
,
Diego Cusicanqui
,
Rajashree T. Datta
,
Sean M. Davis
,
Veerle De Bock
,
Richard A. M. de Jeu
,
Jos De Laat
,
Bertrand Decharme
,
Doug Degenstein
,
Reynald Delaloye
,
Mesut Demircan
,
Chris Derksen
,
Ricardo Deus
,
K. R. Dhurmea
,
Howard J. Diamond
,
S. Dirkse
,
Dmitry Divine
,
Martin T. Dokulil
,
Markus G. Donat
,
Shenfu Dong
,
Wouter A. Dorigo
,
Caroline Drost Jensen
,
Matthew L. Druckenmiller
,
Paula Drumond
,
Marcel du Plessis
,
Hilary A. Dugan
,
Dashkhuu Dulamsuren
,
Devon Dunmire
,
Robert J. H. Dunn
,
Imke Durre
,
Geoff Dutton
,
Gregory Duveiller
,
Mithat Ekici
,
Alesksandra Elias Chereque
,
M. ElKharrim
,
Howard E. Epstein
,
Jhan-Carlo Espinoza
,
Thomas W. Estilow
,
Nicole Estrella
,
Nicolas Fauchereau
,
Robert S. Fausto
,
Richard A. Feely
,
Chris Fenimore
,
David Fereday
,
Xavier Fettweis
,
vitali E. Fioletov
,
Johannes Flemming
,
Chris Fogarty
,
Ryan L. Fogt
,
Bruce C. Forbes
,
Michael J. Foster
,
Bryan A. Franz
,
Natalie M. Freeman
,
Helen A. Fricker
,
Stacey M. Frith
,
Lucien Froidevaux
,
Gerald V. Frost
,
Steven Fuhrman
,
Martin Füllekrug
,
Catherine Ganter
,
Meng Gao
,
Alex S. Gardner
,
Judith Garforth
,
Jay Garg
,
Sebastian Gerland
,
Badin Gibbes
,
Sarah T. Gille
,
John Gilson
,
Karin Gleason
,
Nadine Gobron
,
Scott J. Goetz
,
Stanley B. Goldenberg
,
Gustavo Goni
,
Steven Goodman
,
Atsushi Goto
,
Jens-Uwe Grooß
,
Alexander Gruber
,
Guojun Gu
,
Charles “Chip” P. Guard
,
S. Hagos
,
Sebastian Hahn
,
Leopold Haimberger
,
Bradley D. Hall
,
Benjamin D. Hamlington
,
Edward Hanna
,
Inger Hanssen-Bauer
,
Daniel S. Harnos
,
Ian Harris
,
Qiong He
,
Richard R. Heim Jr.
,
Sverker Hellström
,
Deborah L. Hemming
,
Stefan Hendricks
,
J. Hicks
,
Hugo G. Hidalgo
,
Martin Hirschi
,
Shu-peng Ho
,
W. Hobbs
,
Robert M. Holmes
,
Robert Holzworth
,
Filip Hrbáček
,
Guojie Hu
,
Zeng-Zhen Hu
,
Boyin Huang
,
Hongjie Huang
,
Dale F. Hurst
,
Iolanda Ialongo
,
Antje Inness
,
Ketil Isaksen
,
Masayoshi Ishii
,
Gerardo Jadra
,
Svetlana Jevrejeva
,
Viju O. John
,
W. Johns
,
Bjørn Johnsen
,
Bryan Johnson
,
Gregory C. Johnson
,
Philip D. Jones
,
Timothy Jones
,
Simon A. Josey
,
G. Jumaux
,
Robert Junod
,
Andreas Kääb
,
K. Kabidi
,
Johannes W. Kaiser
,
Robb S.A. Kaler
,
Lars Kaleschke
,
Viktor Kaufmann
,
Amin Fazl Kazemi
,
Linda M. Keller
,
Andreas Kellerer-Pirklbauer
,
Mike Kendon
,
John Kennedy
,
Elizabeth C. Kent
,
Kenneth Kerr
,
Valentina Khan
,
Mai Van Khiem
,
Richard Kidd
,
Mi Ju Kim
,
Seong-Joong Kim
,
Zak Kipling
,
Philip J. Klotzbach
,
John A. Knaff
,
Akash Koppa
,
Natalia N. Korshunova
,
Benjamin M. Kraemer
,
Natalya A. Kramarova
,
A. C. Kruger
,
Andries Kruger
,
Arun Kumar
,
Michelle L’Heureux
,
Sofia La Fuente
,
Alo Laas
,
Zachary M. Labe
,
Rick Lader
,
Mónika Lakatos
,
Kaisa Lakkala
,
Hoang Phuc Lam
,
Xin Lan
,
Peter Landschützer
,
Chris W. Landsea
,
Timothy Lang
,
Matthias Lankhorst
,
Kathleen O. Lantz
,
Mark J. Lara
,
Waldo Lavado-Casimiro
,
David A. Lavers
,
Matthew A. Lazzara
,
Thierry Leblanc
,
Tsz-Cheung Lee
,
Eric M. Leibensperger
,
Chris Lennard
,
Eric Leuliette
,
Kinson H. Y. Leung
,
Jan L. Lieser
,
Tanja Likso
,
I-I. Lin
,
Jackie Lindsey
,
Yakun Liu
,
Ricardo Locarnini
,
Norman G. Loeb
,
Bryant D. Loomis
,
Andrew M. Lorrey
,
Diego Loyola
,
Rui Lu
,
Rick Lumpkin
,
Jing-Jia Luo
,
Kari Luojus
,
John M. Lyman
,
Stephen C. Maberly
,
Matthew J. Macander
,
Michael MacFerrin
,
Graeme A. MacGilchrist
,
Michelle L. MacLennan
,
Remi Madelon
,
Andrew D. Magee
,
Florence Magnin
,
Jostein Mamen
,
Ken D. Mankoff
,
Gloria L. Manney
,
Izolda Marcinonienė
,
Jose A. Marengo
,
Mohammadi Marjan
,
Ana E. Martínez
,
Robert A. Massom
,
Shin-Ichiro Matsuzaki
,
Linda May
,
Michael Mayer
,
Matthew R. Mazloff
,
Stephanie A. McAfee
,
C. McBride
,
Matthew F. McCabe
,
James W. McClelland
,
Michael J. McPhaden
,
Tim R. Mcvicar
,
Carl A. Mears
,
Walter N. Meier
,
A. Mekonnen
,
Annette Menzel
,
Christopher J. Merchant
,
Mark A. Merrifield
,
Michael F. Meyer
,
Tristan Meyers
,
David E. Mikolajczyk
,
John B. Miller
,
Diego G. Miralles
,
Noelia Misevicius
,
Alexey Mishonov
,
Gary T. Mitchum
,
Ben I. Moat
,
Leander Moesinger
,
Aurel Moise
,
Jorge Molina-Carpio
,
Ghislaine Monet
,
Stephan A. Montzka
,
Twila A. Moon
,
G. W. K. Moore
,
Natali Mora
,
Johnny Morán
,
Claire Morehen
,
Colin Morice
,
A. E. Mostafa
,
Thomas L. Mote
,
Ivan Mrekaj
,
Lawrence Mudryk
,
Jens Mühle
,
Rolf Müller
,
David Nance
,
Eric R. Nash
,
R. Steven Nerem
,
Paul A. Newman
,
Julien P. Nicolas
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Abstract

—J. BLUNDEN, T. BOYER, AND E. BARTOW-GILLIES

Earth’s global climate system is vast, complex, and intricately interrelated. Many areas are influenced by global-scale phenomena, including the “triple dip” La Niña conditions that prevailed in the eastern Pacific Ocean nearly continuously from mid-2020 through all of 2022; by regional phenomena such as the positive winter and summer North Atlantic Oscillation that impacted weather in parts the Northern Hemisphere and the negative Indian Ocean dipole that impacted weather in parts of the Southern Hemisphere; and by more localized systems such as high-pressure heat domes that caused extreme heat in different areas of the world. Underlying all these natural short-term variabilities are long-term climate trends due to continuous increases since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution in the atmospheric concentrations of Earth’s major greenhouse gases.

In 2022, the annual global average carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere rose to 417.1±0.1 ppm, which is 50% greater than the pre-industrial level. Global mean tropospheric methane abundance was 165% higher than its pre-industrial level, and nitrous oxide was 24% higher. All three gases set new record-high atmospheric concentration levels in 2022.

Sea-surface temperature patterns in the tropical Pacific characteristic of La Niña and attendant atmospheric patterns tend to mitigate atmospheric heat gain at the global scale, but the annual global surface temperature across land and oceans was still among the six highest in records dating as far back as the mid-1800s. It was the warmest La Niña year on record. Many areas observed record or near-record heat. Europe as a whole observed its second-warmest year on record, with sixteen individual countries observing record warmth at the national scale. Records were shattered across the continent during the summer months as heatwaves plagued the region. On 18 July, 104 stations in France broke their all-time records. One day later, England recorded a temperature of 40°C for the first time ever. China experienced its second-warmest year and warmest summer on record. In the Southern Hemisphere, the average temperature across New Zealand reached a record high for the second year in a row. While Australia’s annual temperature was slightly below the 1991–2020 average, Onslow Airport in Western Australia reached 50.7°C on 13 January, equaling Australia's highest temperature on record.

While fewer in number and locations than record-high temperatures, record cold was also observed during the year. Southern Africa had its coldest August on record, with minimum temperatures as much as 5°C below normal over Angola, western Zambia, and northern Namibia. Cold outbreaks in the first half of December led to many record-low daily minimum temperature records in eastern Australia.

The effects of rising temperatures and extreme heat were apparent across the Northern Hemisphere, where snow-cover extent by June 2022 was the third smallest in the 56-year record, and the seasonal duration of lake ice cover was the fourth shortest since 1980. More frequent and intense heatwaves contributed to the second-greatest average mass balance loss for Alpine glaciers around the world since the start of the record in 1970. Glaciers in the Swiss Alps lost a record 6% of their volume. In South America, the combination of drought and heat left many central Andean glaciers snow free by mid-summer in early 2022; glacial ice has a much lower albedo than snow, leading to accelerated heating of the glacier. Across the global cryosphere, permafrost temperatures continued to reach record highs at many high-latitude and mountain locations.

In the high northern latitudes, the annual surface-air temperature across the Arctic was the fifth highest in the 123-year record. The seasonal Arctic minimum sea-ice extent, typically reached in September, was the 11th-smallest in the 43-year record; however, the amount of multiyear ice—ice that survives at least one summer melt season—remaining in the Arctic continued to decline. Since 2012, the Arctic has been nearly devoid of ice more than four years old.

In Antarctica, an unusually large amount of snow and ice fell over the continent in 2022 due to several landfalling atmospheric rivers, which contributed to the highest annual surface mass balance, 15% to 16% above the 1991–2020 normal, since the start of two reanalyses records dating to 1980. It was the second-warmest year on record for all five of the long-term staffed weather stations on the Antarctic Peninsula. In East Antarctica, a heatwave event led to a new all-time record-high temperature of −9.4°C—44°C above the March average—on 18 March at Dome C. This was followed by the collapse of the critically unstable Conger Ice Shelf. More than 100 daily low sea-ice extent and sea-ice area records were set in 2022, including two new all-time annual record lows in net sea-ice extent and area in February.

Across the world’s oceans, global mean sea level was record high for the 11th consecutive year, reaching 101.2 mm above the 1993 average when satellite altimetry measurements began, an increase of 3.3±0.7 over 2021. Globally-averaged ocean heat content was also record high in 2022, while the global sea-surface temperature was the sixth highest on record, equal with 2018. Approximately 58% of the ocean surface experienced at least one marine heatwave in 2022. In the Bay of Plenty, New Zealand’s longest continuous marine heatwave was recorded.

A total of 85 named tropical storms were observed during the Northern and Southern Hemisphere storm seasons, close to the 1991–2020 average of 87. There were three Category 5 tropical cyclones across the globe—two in the western North Pacific and one in the North Atlantic. This was the fewest Category 5 storms globally since 2017. Globally, the accumulated cyclone energy was the lowest since reliable records began in 1981. Regardless, some storms caused massive damage. In the North Atlantic, Hurricane Fiona became the most intense and most destructive tropical or post-tropical cyclone in Atlantic Canada’s history, while major Hurricane Ian killed more than 100 people and became the third costliest disaster in the United States, causing damage estimated at $113 billion U.S. dollars. In the South Indian Ocean, Tropical Cyclone Batsirai dropped 2044 mm of rain at Commerson Crater in Réunion. The storm also impacted Madagascar, where 121 fatalities were reported.

As is typical, some areas around the world were notably dry in 2022 and some were notably wet. In August, record high areas of land across the globe (6.2%) were experiencing extreme drought. Overall, 29% of land experienced moderate or worse categories of drought during the year. The largest drought footprint in the contiguous United States since 2012 (63%) was observed in late October. The record-breaking megadrought of central Chile continued in its 13th consecutive year, and 80-year record-low river levels in northern Argentina and Paraguay disrupted fluvial transport. In China, the Yangtze River reached record-low values. Much of equatorial eastern Africa had five consecutive below-normal rainy seasons by the end of 2022, with some areas receiving record-low precipitation totals for the year. This ongoing 2.5-year drought is the most extensive and persistent drought event in decades, and led to crop failure, millions of livestock deaths, water scarcity, and inflated prices for staple food items.

In South Asia, Pakistan received around three times its normal volume of monsoon precipitation in August, with some regions receiving up to eight times their expected monthly totals. Resulting floods affected over 30 million people, caused over 1700 fatalities, led to major crop and property losses, and was recorded as one of the world’s costliest natural disasters of all time. Near Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Petrópolis received 530 mm in 24 hours on 15 February, about 2.5 times the monthly February average, leading to the worst disaster in the city since 1931 with over 230 fatalities.

On 14–15 January, the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai submarine volcano in the South Pacific erupted multiple times. The injection of water into the atmosphere was unprecedented in both magnitude—far exceeding any previous values in the 17-year satellite record—and altitude as it penetrated into the mesosphere. The amount of water injected into the stratosphere is estimated to be 146±5 Terragrams, or ∼10% of the total amount in the stratosphere. It may take several years for the water plume to dissipate, and it is currently unknown whether this eruption will have any long-term climate effect.

Open access