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Alberto Meucci
,
Ian R. Young
,
Mark Hemer
,
Claire Trenham
, and
Ian G. Watterson

Abstract

We present four 140-yr wind-wave climate simulations (1961–2100) forced with surface wind speed and sea ice concentration from two CMIP6 GCMs under two different climate scenarios: SSP1–2.6 and SSP5–8.5. A global three-grid system is implemented in WAVEWATCH III to simulate the wave–ice interactions in the Arctic and Antarctic regions. The models perform well in comparison with global satellite altimeter and in situ buoys climatology. The comparison with traditional trend analyses demonstrates the present GCM-forced wave models’ ability to reproduce the main historical climate signals. The long-term datasets allow a comprehensive description of the twentieth- and twenty-first-century wave climate and yield statistically robust trends. Analysis of the latest IPCC ocean climatic regions highlights four regions where changes in wave climate are projected to be most significant: the Arctic, the North Pacific, the North Atlantic, and the Southern Ocean. The main driver of offshore wave climate change is the wind, except for the Arctic where the significant sea ice retreat causes a sharp increase in the projected wave heights. Distinct changes in the wave period and the wave direction are found in the Southern Hemisphere, where the poleward shift of the Southern Ocean westerlies causes an increase in the wave period of up to 5% and a counterclockwise change in wave direction of up to 5°. The new CMIP6 forced wave models improve in performance compared to previous CMIP5 forced wave models, and will ultimately contribute to a new CMIP6 wind-wave climate model ensemble, crucial for coastal adaptation strategies and the design of future marine offshore structures and operations.

Significance Statement

The purpose of this study is to advance the understanding of ocean wind-wave climate evolution over the twentieth and twenty-first centuries and to effectively communicate the long-term impacts of climate change in diverse wind-wave climatic regions across the globe. The 140-yr continuous model results produced in this work are crucial to studying changes in extreme sea states and investigating the relationship between interdecadal periodic oscillations and long-term climate trends. The dataset produced can be used to gain further insight into the substantial long-term changes of the polar wind-wave climate caused by the rapid decrease of sea ice coverage, and the evolution of the directional changes in the sea states triggered by climate change.

Free access
Yalin Fan
,
Shian-Jiann Lin
,
Stephen M. Griffies
, and
Mark A. Hemer

Abstract

The seasonal structure of the wind sea and swell is analyzed from the existing 29-yr surface gravity wave climatology produced using a coupled atmosphere–wave model. The swell energy fraction analysis shows that swell dominates most of the World Ocean basins for all four seasons, and the Southern Ocean swells dominate swell in the global ocean. The swells are loosely correlated with the surface wind in the midlatitude storm region in both hemispheres, while their energy distribution and propagation direction do not show any relation with local winds and vary significantly with season because of nonlinear interactions. The same coupled system is then used to investigate the projected future change in wind-sea and swell climate through a time-slice simulation. Forcing of the coupled model was obtained by perturbing the model sea surface temperatures and sea ice with anomalies generated by representative Working Group on Coupled Modelling (WGCM) phase 3 of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP3) coupled models that use the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) A1B scenario late in the twenty-first century. Robust responses found in the wind seas are associated with modified climate indices. A dipole pattern in the North Atlantic during the boreal winter is associated with more frequent occurrence of the positive North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) phases under global warming, and the wind-sea energy increase in the Southern Ocean is associated with the continuous shift of the southern annular mode (SAM) toward its positive phase. Swell responses are less robust because of nonlinearity. The only consistent response in swells is the strong energy increase in the western Pacific and Indian Ocean sector of the Southern Ocean during the austral winter and autumn.

Full access
Mark A. Hemer
,
Xiaolan L. Wang
,
Ralf Weisse
, and
Val R. Swail
Full access
Diana Greenslade
,
Mark Hemer
,
Alex Babanin
,
Ryan Lowe
,
Ian Turner
,
Hannah Power
,
Ian Young
,
Daniel Ierodiaconou
,
Greg Hibbert
,
Greg Williams
,
Saima Aijaz
,
João Albuquerque
,
Stewart Allen
,
Michael Banner
,
Paul Branson
,
Steve Buchan
,
Andrew Burton
,
John Bye
,
Nick Cartwright
,
Amin Chabchoub
,
Frank Colberg
,
Stephanie Contardo
,
Francois Dufois
,
Craig Earl-Spurr
,
David Farr
,
Ian Goodwin
,
Jim Gunson
,
Jeff Hansen
,
David Hanslow
,
Mitchell Harley
,
Yasha Hetzel
,
Ron Hoeke
,
Nicole Jones
,
Michael Kinsela
,
Qingxiang Liu
,
Oleg Makarynskyy
,
Hayden Marcollo
,
Said Mazaheri
,
Jason McConochie
,
Grant Millar
,
Tim Moltmann
,
Neal Moodie
,
Joao Morim
,
Russel Morison
,
Jana Orszaghova
,
Charitha Pattiaratchi
,
Andrew Pomeroy
,
Roger Proctor
,
David Provis
,
Ruth Reef
,
Dirk Rijnsdorp
,
Martin Rutherford
,
Eric Schulz
,
Jake Shayer
,
Kristen Splinter
,
Craig Steinberg
,
Darrell Strauss
,
Greg Stuart
,
Graham Symonds
,
Karina Tarbath
,
Daniel Taylor
,
James Taylor
,
Darshani Thotagamuwage
,
Alessandro Toffoli
,
Alireza Valizadeh
,
Jonathan van Hazel
,
Guilherme Vieira da Silva
,
Moritz Wandres
,
Colin Whittaker
,
David Williams
,
Gundula Winter
,
Jiangtao Xu
,
Aihong Zhong
, and
Stefan Zieger
Full access
Diana Greenslade
,
Mark Hemer
,
Alex Babanin
,
Ryan Lowe
,
Ian Turner
,
Hannah Power
,
Ian Young
,
Daniel Ierodiaconou
,
Greg Hibbert
,
Greg Williams
,
Saima Aijaz
,
João Albuquerque
,
Stewart Allen
,
Michael Banner
,
Paul Branson
,
Steve Buchan
,
Andrew Burton
,
John Bye
,
Nick Cartwright
,
Amin Chabchoub
,
Frank Colberg
,
Stephanie Contardo
,
Francois Dufois
,
Craig Earl-Spurr
,
David Farr
,
Ian Goodwin
,
Jim Gunson
,
Jeff Hansen
,
David Hanslow
,
Mitchell Harley
,
Yasha Hetzel
,
Ron Hoeke
,
Nicole Jones
,
Michael Kinsela
,
Qingxiang Liu
,
Oleg Makarynskyy
,
Hayden Marcollo
,
Said Mazaheri
,
Jason McConochie
,
Grant Millar
,
Tim Moltmann
,
Neal Moodie
,
Joao Morim
,
Russel Morison
,
Jana Orszaghova
,
Charitha Pattiaratchi
,
Andrew Pomeroy
,
Roger Proctor
,
David Provis
,
Ruth Reef
,
Dirk Rijnsdorp
,
Martin Rutherford
,
Eric Schulz
,
Jake Shayer
,
Kristen Splinter
,
Craig Steinberg
,
Darrell Strauss
,
Greg Stuart
,
Graham Symonds
,
Karina Tarbath
,
Daniel Taylor
,
James Taylor
,
Darshani Thotagamuwage
,
Alessandro Toffoli
,
Alireza Valizadeh
,
Jonathan van Hazel
,
Guilherme Vieira da Silva
,
Moritz Wandres
,
Colin Whittaker
,
David Williams
,
Gundula Winter
,
Jiangtao Xu
,
Aihong Zhong
, and
Stefan Zieger

Abstract

The Australian marine research, industry, and stakeholder community has recently undertaken an extensive collaborative process to identify the highest national priorities for wind-waves research. This was undertaken under the auspices of the Forum for Operational Oceanography Surface Waves Working Group. The main steps in the process were first, soliciting possible research questions from the community via an online survey; second, reviewing the questions at a face-to-face workshop; and third, online ranking of the research questions by individuals. This process resulted in 15 identified priorities, covering research activities and the development of infrastructure. The top five priorities are 1) enhanced and updated nearshore and coastal bathymetry; 2) improved understanding of extreme sea states; 3) maintain and enhance the in situ buoy network; 4) improved data access and sharing; and 5) ensemble and probabilistic wave modeling and forecasting. In this paper, each of the 15 priorities is discussed in detail, providing insight into why each priority is important, and the current state of the art, both nationally and internationally, where relevant. While this process has been driven by Australian needs, it is likely that the results will be relevant to other marine-focused nations.

Free access
M. Ades
,
R. Adler
,
Rob Allan
,
R. P. Allan
,
J. Anderson
,
Anthony Argüez
,
C. Arosio
,
J. A. Augustine
,
C. Azorin-Molina
,
J. Barichivich
,
J. Barnes
,
H. E. Beck
,
Andreas Becker
,
Nicolas Bellouin
,
Angela Benedetti
,
David I. Berry
,
Stephen Blenkinsop
,
Olivier. Bock
,
Michael G. Bosilovich
,
Olivier. Boucher
,
S. A. Buehler
,
Laura. Carrea
,
Hanne H. Christiansen
,
F. Chouza
,
John R. Christy
,
E.-S. Chung
,
Melanie Coldewey-Egbers
,
Gil P. Compo
,
Owen R. Cooper
,
Curt Covey
,
A. Crotwell
,
Sean M. Davis
,
Elvira de Eyto
,
Richard A. M de Jeu
,
B.V. VanderSat
,
Curtis L. DeGasperi
,
Doug Degenstein
,
Larry Di Girolamo
,
Martin T. Dokulil
,
Markus G. Donat
,
Wouter A. Dorigo
,
Imke Durre
,
Geoff S. Dutton
,
G. Duveiller
,
James W. Elkins
,
Vitali E. Fioletov
,
Johannes Flemming
,
Michael J. Foster
,
Richard A. Frey
,
Stacey M. Frith
,
Lucien Froidevaux
,
J. Garforth
,
S. K. Gupta
,
Leopold Haimberger
,
Brad D. Hall
,
Ian Harris
,
Andrew K Heidinger
,
D. L. Hemming
,
Shu-peng (Ben) Ho
,
Daan Hubert
,
Dale F. Hurst
,
I. Hüser
,
Antje Inness
,
K. Isaksen
,
Viju John
,
Philip D. Jones
,
J. W. Kaiser
,
S. Kelly
,
S. Khaykin
,
R. Kidd
,
Hyungiun Kim
,
Z. Kipling
,
B. M. Kraemer
,
D. P. Kratz
,
R. S. La Fuente
,
Xin Lan
,
Kathleen O. Lantz
,
T. Leblanc
,
Bailing Li
,
Norman G Loeb
,
Craig S. Long
,
Diego Loyola
,
Wlodzimierz Marszelewski
,
B. Martens
,
Linda May
,
Michael Mayer
,
M. F. McCabe
,
Tim R. McVicar
,
Carl A. Mears
,
W. Paul Menzel
,
Christopher J. Merchant
,
Ben R. Miller
,
Diego G. Miralles
,
Stephen A. Montzka
,
Colin Morice
,
Jens Mühle
,
R. Myneni
,
Julien P. Nicolas
,
Jeannette Noetzli
,
Tim J. Osborn
,
T. Park
,
A. Pasik
,
Andrew M. Paterson
,
Mauri S. Pelto
,
S. Perkins-Kirkpatrick
,
G. Pétron
,
C. Phillips
,
Bernard Pinty
,
S. Po-Chedley
,
L. Polvani
,
W. Preimesberger
,
M. Pulkkanen
,
W. J. Randel
,
Samuel Rémy
,
L. Ricciardulli
,
A. D. Richardson
,
L. Rieger
,
David A. Robinson
,
Matthew Rodell
,
Karen H. Rosenlof
,
Chris Roth
,
A. Rozanov
,
James A. Rusak
,
O. Rusanovskaya
,
T. Rutishäuser
,
Ahira Sánchez-Lugo
,
P. Sawaengphokhai
,
T. Scanlon
,
Verena Schenzinger
,
S. Geoffey Schladow
,
R. W Schlegel
,
Eawag Schmid, Martin
,
H. B. Selkirk
,
S. Sharma
,
Lei Shi
,
S. V. Shimaraeva
,
E. A. Silow
,
Adrian J. Simmons
,
C. A. Smith
,
Sharon L Smith
,
B. J. Soden
,
Viktoria Sofieva
,
T. H. Sparks
,
Paul W. Stackhouse Jr.
,
Wolfgang Steinbrecht
,
Dimitri A. Streletskiy
,
G. Taha
,
Hagen Telg
,
S. J. Thackeray
,
M. A. Timofeyev
,
Kleareti Tourpali
,
Mari R. Tye
,
Ronald J. van der A
,
Robin, VanderSat B.V. van der Schalie
,
Gerard van der SchrierW. Paul
,
Guido R. van der Werf
,
Piet Verburg
,
Jean-Paul Vernier
,
Holger Vömel
,
Russell S. Vose
,
Ray Wang
,
Shohei G. Watanabe
,
Mark Weber
,
Gesa A. Weyhenmeyer
,
David Wiese
,
Anne C. Wilber
,
Jeanette D. Wild
,
Takmeng Wong
,
R. Iestyn Woolway
,
Xungang Yin
,
Lin Zhao
,
Guanguo Zhao
,
Xinjia Zhou
,
Jerry R. Ziemke
, and
Markus Ziese
Free access
Robert J. H. Dunn
,
John B. Miller
,
Kate M. Willett
,
Nadine Gobron
,
Melanie Ades
,
Robert Adler
,
Mihai Alexe
,
Richard P. Allan
,
John Anderson
,
Orlane Anneville
,
Yasuyuki Aono
,
Anthony Arguez
,
Carlo Arosio
,
John A. Augustine
,
Cesar Azorin-Molina
,
Jonathan Barichivich
,
John E. Barnes
,
Hylke E. Beck
,
Nicolas Bellouin
,
Angela Benedetti
,
Kevin Blagrave
,
Stephen Blenkinsop
,
Olivier Bock
,
Xavier Bodin
,
Michael Bosilovich
,
Olivier Boucher
,
Dennis Buechler
,
Stefan A. Buehler
,
Diego Campos
,
Laura Carrea
,
Kai-Lan Chang
,
Hanne H. Christiansen
,
John R. Christy
,
Eui-Seok Chung
,
Laura M. Ciasto
,
Scott Clingan
,
Melanie Coldewey-Egbers
,
Owen R. Cooper
,
Richard C. Cornes
,
Curt Covey
,
Jean-François Créatux
,
Theresa Crimmins
,
Thomas Cropper
,
Molly Crotwell
,
Joshua Culpepper
,
Diego Cusicanqui
,
Sean M. Davis
,
Richard A. M. de Jeu
,
Doug Degenstein
,
Reynald Delaloye
,
Martin T. Dokulil
,
Markus G. Donat
,
Wouter A. Dorigo
,
Hilary A. Dugan
,
Imke Durre
,
Geoff Dutton
,
Gregory Duveiller
,
Thomas W. Estilow
,
Nicole Estrella
,
David Fereday
,
Vitali E. Fioletov
,
Johannes Flemming
,
Michael J. Foster
,
Bryan Franz
,
Stacey M. Frith
,
Lucien Froidevaux
,
Martin Füllekrug
,
Judith Garforth
,
Jay Garg
,
Badin Gibbes
,
Steven Goodman
,
Atsushi Goto
,
Alexander Gruber
,
Guojun Gu
,
Sebastian Hahn
,
Leopold Haimberger
,
Bradley D. Hall
,
Ian Harris
,
Deborah L. Hemming
,
Martin Hirschi
,
(Ben)
,
Robert Holzworth
,
Filip Hrbáček
,
Guojie Hu
,
Dale F. Hurst
,
Antje Inness
,
Ketil Isaksen
,
Viju O. John
,
Philip D. Jones
,
Robert Junod
,
Andreas Kääb
,
Johannes W. Kaiser
,
Viktor Kaufmann
,
Andreas Kellerer-Pirklbauer
,
Elizabeth C. Kent
,
Richard Kidd
,
Zak Kipling
,
Akash Koppa
,
Benjamin M. Kraemer
,
Natalya Kramarova
,
Andries Kruger
,
Sofia La Fuente
,
Alo Laas
,
Xin Lan
,
Timothy Lang
,
Kathleen O. Lantz
,
David A. Lavers
,
Thierry Leblanc
,
Eric M. Leibensperger
,
Chris Lennard
,
Yakun Liu
,
Norman G. Loeb
,
Diego Loyola
,
Stephen C. Maberly
,
Remi Madelon
,
Florence Magnin
,
Shin-Ichiro Matsuzaki
,
Linda May
,
Michael Mayer
,
Matthew F. McCabe
,
Tim R. McVicar
,
Carl A. Mears
,
Annette Menzel
,
Christopher J. Merchant
,
Michael F. Meyer
,
Diego G. Miralles
,
Leander Moesinger
,
Ghislaine Monet
,
Stephan A. Montzka
,
Colin Morice
,
Ivan Mrekaj
,
Jens Mühle
,
David Nance
,
Julien P. Nicolas
,
Jeannette Noetzli
,
Ben Noll
,
John O’Keefe
,
Timothy J. Osborn
,
Taejin Park
,
Mark Parrington
,
Cécile Pellet
,
Mauri S. Pelto
,
Kyle Petersen
,
Coda Phillips
,
Don Pierson
,
Izidine Pinto
,
Stephen Po-Chedley
,
Paolo Pogliotti
,
Lorenzo Polvani
,
Wolfgang Preimesberger
,
Colin Price
,
Merja Pulkkanen
,
William J. Randel
,
Samuel Rémy
,
Lucrezia Ricciardulli
,
Andrew D. Richardson
,
David A. Robinson
,
Willy Rocha
,
Matthew Rodell
,
Nemesio Rodriguez-Fernandez
,
Karen H. Rosenlof
,
Alexei Rozanov
,
Jozef Rozkošný
,
Olga O. Rusanovskaya
,
This Rutishauser
,
C. T. Sabeerali
,
Ahira Sánchez-Lugo
,
Parnchai Sawaengphokhai
,
Verena Schenzinger
,
Robert W. Schlegel
,
Martin Schmid
,
Udo Schneider
,
Fumi Sezaki
,
Sapna Sharma
,
Lei Shi
,
Svetlana V. Shimaraeva
,
Eugene A. Silow
,
Adrian J. Simmons
,
Sharon L. Smith
,
Brian J. Soden
,
Viktoria Sofieva
,
Tim H. Sparks
,
O.P. Sreejith
,
Paul W. Stackhouse Jr.
,
Ryan Stauffer
,
Wolfgang Steinbrecht
,
Andrea K. Steiner
,
Pietro Stradiotti
,
Dmitry A. Streletskiy
,
Divya E. Surendran
,
Stephen J. Thackeray
,
Emmanuel Thibert
,
Maxim A. Timofeyev
,
Kleareti Tourpali
,
Mari R. Tye
,
Ronald van der A
,
Robin van der Schalie
,
Gerard van der Schrier
,
Arnold J.H. van Vliet
,
Piet Verburg
,
Jean-Paul Vernier
,
Isaac J. Vimont
,
Katrina Virts
,
Sebastián Vivero
,
Holger Vömel
,
Russell S. Vose
,
Ray H. J. Wang
,
Xinyue Wang
,
Taran Warnock
,
Mark Weber
,
David N. Wiese
,
Jeannette D. Wild
,
Earle Williams
,
Takmeng Wong
,
Richard Iestyn Woolway
,
Xungang Yin
,
Zhenzhong Zeng
,
Lin Zhao
,
Xinjia Zhou
,
Jerry R. Ziemke
,
Markus Ziese
,
Ruxandra M. Zotta
,
Cheng-Zhi Zou
,
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
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
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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