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Ailie J. E. Gallant
,
David J. Karoly
, and
Karin L. Gleason

Abstract

The utility of a combined modified climate extremes index (mCEI) is presented for monitoring coherent trends in multiple types of climate extremes across large regions. Its usefulness lies in its ability to distill complex spatiotemporal fields into a simple, flexible nonparametric index.

Two versions of the mCEI are computed that incorporate changes in several annual- or daily-scale temperature-related and moisture-related extremes. Applying data from the contiguous United States, Europe, and Australia detects consistent and statistically significant increases in the spatial prevalence of climate extremes from 1950 to 2012. All three continental-scale regions show increasingly widespread warm annual- and daily-scale minimum and maximum temperature extremes, a decreasing spatial extent of cool annual- and daily-scale minimum and maximum temperature extremes, and increasing areas where the proportion of annual total precipitation falls on heavy-rain days. There were no statistically significant trends toward more widespread, annual-scale drought or moisture surplus in any region.

The dependence of annual extremes on the frequency of daily-scale extremes is highlighted by the strong covariations between annual- and daily-scale extremes in all regions. By the nature of construction of the combined indices, the differences in the trends of the mCEI and daily-scale mCEI (dmCEI) suggest that extremes in more areas are changing primarily because of a shift of temperature and daily rainfall distributions toward warm extremes and heavy-rainfall extremes.

Full access
Karin L. Gleason
,
Jay H. Lawrimore
,
David H. Levinson
,
Thomas R. Karl
, and
David J. Karoly

Abstract

A revised framework is presented that quantifies observed changes in the climate of the contiguous United States through analysis of a revised version of the U.S. Climate Extremes Index (CEI). The CEI is based on a set of climate extremes indicators that measure the fraction of the area of the United States experiencing extremes in monthly mean surface temperature, daily precipitation, and drought (or moisture surplus). In the revised CEI, auxiliary station data, including recently digitized pre-1948 data, are incorporated to extend it further back in time and to improve spatial coverage. The revised CEI is updated for the period from 1910 to the present in near–real time and is calculated for eight separate seasons, or periods.

Results for the annual revised CEI are similar to those from the original CEI. Observations over the past decade continue to support the finding that the area experiencing much above-normal maximum and minimum temperatures in recent years has been on the rise, with infrequent occurrence of much below- normal mean maximum and minimum temperatures. Conversely, extremes in much below-normal mean maximum and minimum temperatures indicate a decline from about 1910 to 1930. An increasing trend in the area experiencing much above-normal proportion of heavy daily precipitation is observed from about 1950 to the present. A period with a much greater-than-normal number of days without precipitation is also noted from about 1910 to the mid-1930s. Warm extremes in mean maximum and minimum temperature observed during the summer and warm seasons show a more pronounced increasing trend since the mid-1970s. Results from the winter season show large variability in extremes and little evidence of a trend. The cold season CEI indicates an increase in extremes since the early 1970s yet has large multidecadal variability.

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Russell S. Vose
,
Scott Applequist
,
Mike Squires
,
Imke Durre
,
Matthew J. Menne
,
Claude N. Williams Jr.
,
Chris Fenimore
,
Karin Gleason
, and
Derek Arndt

Abstract

This paper describes an improved edition of the climate division dataset for the conterminous United States (i.e., version 2). The first improvement is to the input data, which now include additional station networks, quality assurance reviews, and temperature bias adjustments. The second improvement is to the suite of climatic elements, which now includes both maximum and minimum temperatures. The third improvement is to the computational approach, which now employs climatologically aided interpolation to address topographic and network variability. Version 2 exhibits substantial differences from version 1 over the period 1895–2012. For example, divisional averages in version 2 tend to be cooler and wetter, particularly in mountainous areas of the western United States. Division-level trends in temperature and precipitation display greater spatial consistency in version 2. National-scale temperature trends in version 2 are comparable to those in the U.S. Historical Climatology Network whereas version 1 exhibits less warming as a result of historical changes in observing practices. Divisional errors in version 2 are likely less than 0.5°C for temperature and 20 mm for precipitation at the start of the record, falling rapidly thereafter. Overall, these results indicate that version 2 can supersede version 1 in both operational climate monitoring and applied climatic research.

Full access
Mark Svoboda
,
Doug LeComte
,
Mike Hayes
,
Richard Heim
,
Karin Gleason
,
Jim Angel
,
Brad Rippey
,
Rich Tinker
,
Mike Palecki
,
David Stooksbury
,
David Miskus
, and
Scott Stephens

The Drought Monitor was started in spring 1999 in response to a need for improved information about the status of drought across the United States. It serves as an example of interagency cooperation in a time of limited resources. The Drought Monitor process also illustrates the creative use of Internet technologies to disseminate authoritative information about drought and to receive regional and local input that is in turn incorporated into the product. This paper describes the Drought Monitor and the interactive process through which it is created.

Full access
Jay H. Lawrimore
,
Michael S. Halpert
,
Gerald D. Bell
,
Matthew J. Menne
,
Bradfield Lyon
,
Russell C. Schnell
,
Karin L. Gleason
,
David R. Easterling
,
Wasila Thiaw
,
William J. Wrightand
,
Richard R. Heim Jr.
,
David A. Robinson
, and
Lisa Alexander

The global climate in 2000 was again influenced by the long-running Pacific cold episode (La Niña) that began in mid-1998. Consistent with past cold episodes, enhanced convection occurred across the climatologically convective regions of Indonesia and the western equatorial Pacific, while convection was suppressed in the central Pacific. The La Niña was also associated with a well-defined African easterly jet located north of its climatological mean position and low vertical wind shear in the tropical Atlantic and Caribbean, both of which contributed to an active North Atlantic hurricane season. Precipitation patterns influenced by typical La Niña conditions included 1) above-average rainfall in southeastern Africa, 2) unusually heavy rainfall in northern and central regions of Australia, 3) enhanced precipitation in the tropical Indian Ocean and western tropical Pacific, 4) little rainfall in the central tropical Pacific, 5) below-normal precipitation over equatorial east Africa, and 6) drier-than-normal conditions along the Gulf coast of the United States.

Although no hurricanes made landfall in the United States in 2000, another active North Atlantic hurricane season featured 14 named storms, 8 of which became hurricanes, with 3 growing to major hurricane strength. All of the named storms over the North Atlantic formed during the August–October period with the first hurricane of the season, Hurricane Alberto, notable as the third-longest-lived tropical system since reliable records began in 1945. The primary human loss during the 2000 season occurred in Central America, where Hurricane Gordon killed 19 in Guatemala, and Hurricane Keith killed 19 in Belize and caused $200 million dollars of damage.

Other regional events included 1) record warm January–October temperatures followed by record cold November–December temperatures in the United States, 2) extreme drought and widespread wildfires in the southern and western Unites States, 3) continued long-term drought in the Hawaiian Islands throughout the year with record 24-h rainfall totals in November, 4) deadly storms and flooding in western Europe in October, 5) a summer heat wave and drought in southern Europe, 6) monsoon flooding in parts of Southeast Asia and India, 7) extreme winter conditions in Mongolia, 8) extreme long-term drought in the Middle East and Southwest Asia, and 9) severe flooding in southern Africa.

Global mean temperatures remained much above average in 2000. The average land and ocean temperature was 0.39°C above the 1880–1999 long-term mean, continuing a trend to warmer-than-average temperatures that made the 1990s the warmest decade on record. While the persistence of La Niña conditions in 2000 was associated with somewhat cooler temperatures in the Tropics, temperatures in the extratropics remained near record levels. Land surface temperatures in the high latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere were notably warmer than normal, with annually averaged anomalies greater than 2°C in parts of Alaska, Canada, Asia, and northern Europe.

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Peter Bissolli
,
Catherine Ganter
,
Tim Li
,
Ademe Mekonnen
,
Ahira Sánchez-Lugo
,
Eric J. Alfaro
,
Lincoln M. Alves
,
Jorge A. Amador
,
B. Andrade
,
Francisco Argeñalso
,
P. Asgarzadeh
,
Julian Baez
,
Reuben Barakiza
,
M. Yu. Bardin
,
Mikhail Bardin
,
Oliver Bochníček
,
Brandon Bukunt
,
Blanca Calderón
,
Jayaka D. Campbell
,
Elise Chandler
,
Ladislaus Chang’a
,
Vincent Y. S. Cheng
,
Leonardo A. Clarke
,
Kris Correa
,
Catalina Cortés
,
Felipe Costa
,
A.P.M.A. Cunha
,
Mesut Demircan
,
K. R. Dhurmea
,
A. Diawara
,
Sarah Diouf
,
Dashkhuu Dulamsuren
,
M. ElKharrim
,
Jhan-Carlo Espinoza
,
A. Fazl-Kazem
,
Chris Fenimore
,
Steven Fuhrman
,
Karin Gleason
,
Charles “Chip” P. Guard
,
Samson Hagos
,
Mizuki Hanafusa
,
H. R. Hasannezhad
,
Richard R. Heim Jr.
,
Hugo G. Hidalgo
,
J. A. Ijampy
,
Gyo Soon Im
,
Annie C. Joseph
,
G. Jumaux
,
K. R. Kabidi
,
P-H. Kamsu-Tamo
,
John Kennedy
,
Valentina Khan
,
Mai Van Khiem
,
Philemon King’uza
,
Natalia N. Korshunova
,
A. C. Kruger
,
Hoang Phuc Lam
,
Mark A. Lander
,
Waldo Lavado-Casimiro
,
Tsz-Cheung Lee
,
Kinson H. Y. Leung
,
Gregor Macara
,
Jostein Mamen
,
José A. Marengo
,
Charlotte McBride
,
Noelia Misevicius
,
Aurel Moise
,
Jorge Molina-Carpio
,
Natali Mora
,
Awatif E. Mostafa
,
Habiba Mtongori
,
Charles Mutai
,
O. Ndiaye
,
Juan José Nieto
,
Latifa Nyembo
,
Patricia Nying’uro
,
Xiao Pan
,
Reynaldo Pascual Ramírez
,
David Phillips
,
Brad Pugh
,
Madhavan Rajeevan
,
M. L. Rakotonirina
,
Andrea M. Ramos
,
M. Robjhon
,
Camino Rodriguez
,
Guisado Rodriguez
,
Josyane Ronchail
,
Benjamin Rösner
,
Roberto Salinas
,
Hirotaka Sato
,
Hitoshi Sato
,
Amal Sayouri
,
Joseph Sebaziga
,
Serhat Sensoy
,
Sandra Spillane
,
Katja Trachte
,
Gerard van der Schrier
,
F. Sima
,
Adam Smith
,
Jacqueline M. Spence
,
O. P. Sreejith
,
A. K. Srivastava
,
José L. Stella
,
Kimberly A. Stephenson
,
Tannecia S. Stephenson
,
S. Supari
,
Sahar Tajbakhsh-Mosalman
,
Gerard Tamar
,
Michael A. Taylor
,
Asaminew Teshome
,
Wassila M. Thiaw
,
Skie Tobin
,
Adrian R. Trotman
,
Cedric J. Van Meerbeeck
,
A. Vazifeh
,
Shunya Wakamatsu
,
Wei Wang
,
Fei Xin
,
F. Zeng
,
Peiqun Zhang
, and
Zhiwei Zhu
Free access
Peter Bissolli
,
Catherine Ganter
,
Ademe Mekonnen
,
Ahira Sánchez-Lugo
,
Zhiwei Zhu
,
A. Abida
,
W. Agyakwah
,
Laura S. Aldeco
,
Eric J. Alfaro
,
Teddy Allen
,
Lincoln M. Alves
,
Jorge A. Amador
,
B. Andrade
,
P. Asgarzadeh
,
Grinia Avalos
,
Julian Baez
,
M. Yu. Bardin
,
E. Bekele
,
Renato Bertalanic
,
Oliver Bochníček
,
Brandon Bukunt
,
Blanca Calderón
,
Jayaka D. Campbell
,
Elise Chandler
,
Candice S Charlton
,
Vincent Y. S. Cheng
,
Leonardo A. Clarke
,
Kris Correa
,
Catalina R. Cortés Salazar
,
Felipe Costa
,
Lenka Crhová
,
Ana Paula Cunha
,
Mesut Demircan
,
K. R. Dhurmea
,
Diana A. Domínguez
,
Dashkhuu Dulamsuren
,
M. ElKharrim
,
Jhan-Carlo Espinoza
,
A. Fazl-Kezemi
,
Nava Fedaeff
,
Chris Fenimore
,
Steven Fuhrman
,
Karin Gleason
,
Charles “Chip” P. Guard
,
Samson Hagos
,
Mizuki Hanafusa
,
Richard R. Heim Jr.
,
John Kennedy
,
Sverker Hellström
,
Hugo G. Hidalgo
,
I. A. Ijampy
,
Gyo Soon Im
,
G. Jumaux
,
K. Kabidi
,
Kenneth Kerr
,
Yelena Khalatyan
,
Valentina Khan
,
Mai Van Khiem
,
Tobias Koch
,
Gerbrand Koren
,
Natalia N. Korshunova
,
A. C. Kruger
,
Mónika Lakatos
,
Jostein Mamen
,
Hoang Phuc Lam
,
Mark A. Lander
,
Waldo Lavado-Casimiro
,
Tsz-Cheung Lee
,
Kinson H. Y. Leung
,
Xuefeng Liu
,
Rui Lu
,
José A. Marengo
,
Mohammadi Marjan
,
Ana E. Martínez
,
Charlotte McBride
,
Mirek Mietus
,
Noelia Misevicius
,
Aurel Moise
,
Jorge Molina-Carpio
,
Natali Mora
,
Awatif E. Mostafa
,
O. Ndiaye
,
Juan J. Nieto
,
Kristin Olafsdottir
,
Reynaldo Pascual Ramírez
,
David Phillips
,
Amos Porat
,
Esteban Rodriguez Guisado
,
Madhavan Rajeevan
,
Andrea M. Ramos
,
Cristina Recalde Coronel
,
Alejandra J. Reyes Kohler
,
M. Robjhon
,
Josyane Ronchail
,
Roberto Salinas
,
Hirotaka Sato
,
Hitoshi Sato
,
Amal Sayouri
,
Serhat Sensoy
,
Amsari Mudzakir Setiawan
,
F. Sima
,
Adam Smith
,
Matthieu Sorel
,
Sandra Spillane
,
Jacqueline M. Spence
,
O. P. Sreejith
,
A. K. Srivastava
,
Tannecia S. Stephenson
,
Kiyotoshi Takahashi
,
Michael A. Taylor
,
Wassila M. Thiaw
,
Skie Tobin
,
Lidia Trescilo
,
Adrian R. Trotman
,
Cedric J. Van Meerbeeck
,
A. Vazifeh
,
Shunya Wakamatsu
,
M. F. Zaheer
,
F. Zeng
, and
Peiqun Zhang
Free access
Peter Bissolli
,
Catherine Ganter
,
A. Mekonnen
,
Ahira Sánchez-Lugo
,
Zhiwei Zhu
,
A. Abida
,
W. Agyakwah
,
Laura S. Aldeco
,
Eric J. Alfaro
,
Lincoln. M. Alves
,
Jorge A. Amador
,
B. Andrade
,
Grinia Avalos
,
Stephan Bader
,
Julian Baez
,
M. Yu Bardin
,
E. Bekele
,
Guillem Martín Bellido
,
Christine Berne
,
A. E. Bhuiyan
,
Oliver Bochníček
,
Brandon Bukunt
,
Blanca Calderón
,
Jayaka Campbell
,
Elise Chandler
,
Hua Chen
,
Vincent Y. S. Cheng
,
Leonardo Clarke
,
Kris Correa
,
Felipe Costa
,
Lenka Crhova
,
Ana P. Cunha
,
Veerle De Bock
,
Mesut Demircan
,
Ricardo Deus
,
K. R. Dhurmea
,
S. Dirkse
,
Paula Drumond
,
Dashkhuu Dulamsuren
,
Mithat Ekici
,
M. ElKharrim
,
Jhan-Carlo Espinoza
,
Chris Fenimore
,
Chris Fogarty
,
Steven Fuhrman
,
Karin Gleason
,
Charles “Chip” P. Guard
,
S. Hagos
,
Richard R. Heim Jr.
,
Sverker Hellström
,
J. Hicks
,
Hugo G. Hidalgo
,
Hongjie Huang
,
Gerardo Jadra
,
G. Jumaux
,
K. Kabidi
,
Amin Fazl Kazemi
,
Mike Kendon
,
Kenneth Kerr
,
Valentina Khan
,
Mai Van Khiem
,
Mi Ju Kim
,
Natalia N. Korshunova
,
A. C. Kruger
,
Mónika Lakatos
,
Hoang Phuc Lam
,
Waldo Lavado-Casimiro
,
Tsz-Cheung Lee
,
Kinson H. Y. Leung
,
Tanja Likso
,
Rui Lu
,
Jostein Mamen
,
Izolda Marcinonienė
,
Jose A. Marengo
,
Mohammadi Marjan
,
Ana E. Martínez
,
C. McBride
,
Tristan Meyers
,
Noelia Misevicius
,
Aurel Moise
,
Jorge Molina-Carpio
,
Natali Mora
,
Johnny Morán
,
Claire Morehen
,
A. E. Mostafa
,
Juan J. Nieto
,
Yoshinori Oikawa
,
Yuka Okunaka
,
Reynaldo Pascual Ramírez
,
Melita Perčec Tadić
,
Vanda Pires
,
Kenny Quisbert
,
Willy R. Quispe
,
M. Rajeevan
,
Andrea M. Ramos
,
Cristina Recalde
,
Alejandra J. Reyes Kohler
,
M. Robjhon
,
Esteban Rodriguez Guisado
,
Josyane Ronchail
,
Benjamin Rösner
,
Henrieke Rösner
,
Frans Rubek
,
Roberto Salinas
,
A. Sayouri
,
Semjon Schimanke
,
Z. T. Segele
,
Serhat Sensoy
,
Amsari Mudzakir Setiawan
,
R. Shukla
,
F. Sima
,
Adam Smith
,
Jacqueline Spence-Hemmings
,
Sandra Spillane
,
O. P. Sreejith
,
A. K. Srivastava
,
Jose L. Stella
,
Tannecia S. Stephenson
,
Kiyotoshi Takahashi
,
Kazuto Takemura
,
Michael A. Taylor
,
W. M. Thiaw
,
Skie Tobin
,
Lidia Trescilo
,
Adrian Trotman
,
Gerard van der Schrier
,
Cedric J. Van Meerbeeck
,
Ahad Vazife
,
An Willems
, and
Peiqun Zhang
Open access
Tim Li
,
Abdallah Abida
,
Laura S. Aldeco
,
Eric J. Alfaro
,
Lincoln M. Alves
,
Jorge A. Amador
,
B. Andrade
,
Julian Baez
,
M. Yu. Bardin
,
Endalkachew Bekele
,
Elisangela Broedel
,
Brandon Bukunt
,
Blanca Calderón
,
Jayaka D. Campbell
,
Diego A. Campos Diaz
,
Gilma Carvajal
,
Elise Chandler
,
Vincent. Y. S. Cheng
,
Chulwoon Choi
,
Leonardo A. Clarke
,
Kris Correa
,
Felipe Costa
,
A. P. Cunha
,
Mesut Demircan
,
R. Dhurmea
,
Eliecer A. Díaz
,
M. ElKharrim
,
Bantwale D. Enyew
,
Jhan C. Espinoza
,
Amin Fazl-Kazem
,
Nava Fedaeff
,
Z. Feng
,
Chris Fenimore
,
S. D. Francis
,
Karin Gleason
,
Charles “Chip” P. Guard
,
Indra Gustari
,
S. Hagos
,
Richard R. Heim Jr.
,
Rafael Hernández
,
Hugo G. Hidalgo
,
J. A. Ijampy
,
Annie C. Joseph
,
Guillaume Jumaux
,
Khadija Kabidi
,
Johannes W. Kaiser
,
Pierre-Honore Kamsu-Tamo
,
John Kennedy
,
Valentina Khan
,
Mai Van Khiem
,
Khatuna Kokosadze
,
Natalia N. Korshunova
,
Andries C. Kruger
,
Nato Kutaladze
,
L. Labbé
,
Mónika Lakatos
,
Hoang Phuc Lam
,
Mark A. Lander
,
Waldo Lavado-Casimiro
,
T. C. Lee
,
Kinson H. Y. Leung
,
Andrew D. Magee
,
Jostein Mamen
,
José A. Marengo
,
Dora Marín
,
Charlotte McBride
,
Lia Megrelidze
,
Noelia Misevicius
,
Y. Mochizuki
,
Aurel Moise
,
Jorge Molina-Carpio
,
Natali Mora
,
Awatif E. Mostafa
,
uan José Nieto
,
Lamjav Oyunjargal
,
Reynaldo Pascual Ramírez
,
Maria Asuncion Pastor Saavedra
,
Uwe Pfeifroth
,
David Phillips
,
Madhavan Rajeevan
,
Andrea M. Ramos
,
Jayashree V. Revadekar
,
Miliaritiana Robjhon
,
Ernesto Rodriguez Camino
,
Esteban Rodriguez Guisado
,
Josyane Ronchail
,
Benjamin Rösner
,
Roberto Salinas
,
Amal Sayouri
,
Carl J. Schreck III
,
Serhat Sensoy
,
A. Shimpo
,
Fatou Sima
,
Adam Smith
,
Jacqueline Spence
,
Sandra Spillane
,
Arne Spitzer
,
A. K. Srivastava
,
José L. Stella
,
Kimberly A. Stephenson
,
Tannecia S. Stephenson
,
Michael A. Taylor
,
Wassila Thiaw
,
Skie Tobin
,
Dennis Todey
,
Katja Trachte
,
Adrian R. Trotman
,
Gerard van der Schrier
,
Cedric J. Van Meerbeeck
,
Ahad Vazifeh
,
José Vicencio Veloso
,
Wei Wang
,
Fei Xin
,
Peiqun Zhang
,
Zhiwei Zhu
, and
Jonas Zucule
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
,
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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