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Elke Rustemeier
,
Markus Ziese
,
Anja Meyer-Christoffer
,
Udo Schneider
,
Peter Finger
, and
Andreas Becker

Abstract

The uncertainty of the precipitation parameter in the ECMWF twentieth-century (ERA-20C) centennial reanalysis is assessed by means of a comparison with the GPCC in situ product Full Data Monthly Version 7 (FDM-V7). For the spatial and temporal validation of ERA-20C, global temporal scores were calculated on monthly, seasonal, and annual time scales. These include contingency table scores, correlations, and differences in the trend, along with time series analyses. Not surprisingly, the regions with the strongest deviations correspond to regions with data scarcity, such as mountainous regions with their upwind and downwind effects, and monsoon regions. They all show a strong systematic bias (ERA-20C minus FDM-V7) and significant breaks in the time series. The mean annual global bias is about 37 mm, and the median is about 8 mm yr−1. Among the largest mean annual biases are, for example, 3361 mm in the southern Andes, 2603 mm in the Western Ghats, and 2682 mm in Papua New Guinea. However, if there is high station density, the precipitation distribution is correctly reproduced, even in orographically demanding regions such as the Alps.

Full access
George J. Huffman
,
Robert F. Adler
,
Bruno Rudolf
,
Udo Schneider
, and
Peter R. Keehn

Abstract

The “satellite-gauge-model” (SGM) technique is described for combining precipitation estimates from microwave satellite data, infrared satellite data, rain gauge analyses, and numerical weather prediction models into improved estimates of global precipitation. Throughout, monthly estimates on a 2.5° × 2.5° lat-long grid are employed. First, a multisatellite product is developed using a combination of low-orbit microwave and geosynchronous-orbit infrared data in the latitude range 40°N–40–S (the adjusted geosynchronous precipitation index) and low-orbit microwave data alone at higher latitudes. Then the rain gauge analysis is brought in, weighting each field by its inverse relative error variance to produce a nearly global, observationally based precipitation estimate. To produce a complete global estimate, the numerical model results are used to fill data voids in the combined satellite-gauge estimate. Our sequential approach to combining estimates allows a user to select the multisatellite estimate, the satellite-gauge estimate, or the full SGM estimate (observationally based estimates plus the model information). The primary limitation in the method is imperfections in the estimation of relative error for the individual fields.

The SGM results for one year of data (July 1987 to June 1988) show important differences from the individual estimates, including model estimates as well as climatological estimates. In general, the SGM results are drier in the subtropics than the model and climatological results, reflecting the relatively dry microwave estimates that dominate the SGM in oceanic regions

Full access
George J. Huffman
,
Robert F. Adler
,
Philip Arkin
,
Alfred Chang
,
Ralph Ferraro
,
Arnold Gruber
,
John Janowiak
,
Alan McNab
,
Bruno Rudolf
, and
Udo Schneider

The Global Precipitation Climatology Project (GPCP) has released the GPCP Version 1 Combined Precipitation Data Set, a global, monthly precipitation dataset covering the period July 1987 through December 1995. The primary product in the dataset is a merged analysis incorporating precipitation estimates from low-orbit-satellite microwave data, geosynchronous-orbit-satellite infrared data, and rain gauge observations. The dataset also contains the individual input fields, a combination of the microwave and infrared satellite estimates, and error estimates for each field. The data are provided on 2.5° × 2.5° latitude-longitude global grids. Preliminary analyses show general agreement with prior studies of global precipitation and extends prior studies of El Nino-Southern Oscillation precipitation patterns. At the regional scale there are systematic differences with standard climatologies.

Full access
Robert F. Adler
,
George J. Huffman
,
Alfred Chang
,
Ralph Ferraro
,
Ping-Ping Xie
,
John Janowiak
,
Bruno Rudolf
,
Udo Schneider
,
Scott Curtis
,
David Bolvin
,
Arnold Gruber
,
Joel Susskind
,
Philip Arkin
, and
Eric Nelkin

Abstract

The Global Precipitation Climatology Project (GPCP) Version-2 Monthly Precipitation Analysis is described. This globally complete, monthly analysis of surface precipitation at 2.5° latitude × 2.5° longitude resolution is available from January 1979 to the present. It is a merged analysis that incorporates precipitation estimates from low-orbit satellite microwave data, geosynchronous-orbit satellite infrared data, and surface rain gauge observations. The merging approach utilizes the higher accuracy of the low-orbit microwave observations to calibrate, or adjust, the more frequent geosynchronous infrared observations. The dataset is extended back into the premicrowave era (before mid-1987) by using infrared-only observations calibrated to the microwave-based analysis of the later years. The combined satellite-based product is adjusted by the rain gauge analysis. The dataset archive also contains the individual input fields, a combined satellite estimate, and error estimates for each field. This monthly analysis is the foundation for the GPCP suite of products, including those at finer temporal resolution. The 23-yr GPCP climatology is characterized, along with time and space variations of precipitation.

Full access
Wouter Dorigo
,
Stephan Dietrich
,
Filipe Aires
,
Luca Brocca
,
Sarah Carter
,
Jean-François Cretaux
,
David Dunkerley
,
Hiroyuki Enomoto
,
René Forsberg
,
Andreas Güntner
,
Michaela I. Hegglin
,
Rainer Hollmann
,
Dale F. Hurst
,
Johnny A. Johannessen
,
Christian Kummerow
,
Tong Lee
,
Kari Luojus
,
Ulrich Looser
,
Diego G. Miralles
,
Victor Pellet
,
Thomas Recknagel
,
Claudia Ruz Vargas
,
Udo Schneider
,
Philippe Schoeneich
,
Marc Schröder
,
Nigel Tapper
,
Valery Vuglinsky
,
Wolfgang Wagner
,
Lisan Yu
,
Luca Zappa
,
Michael Zemp
, and
Valentin Aich

ABSTRACT

Life on Earth vitally depends on the availability of water. Human pressure on freshwater resources is increasing, as is human exposure to weather-related extremes (droughts, storms, floods) caused by climate change. Understanding these changes is pivotal for developing mitigation and adaptation strategies. The Global Climate Observing System (GCOS) defines a suite of essential climate variables (ECVs), many related to the water cycle, required to systematically monitor Earth’s climate system. Since long-term observations of these ECVs are derived from different observation techniques, platforms, instruments, and retrieval algorithms, they often lack the accuracy, completeness, and resolution, to consistently characterize water cycle variability at multiple spatial and temporal scales. Here, we review the capability of ground-based and remotely sensed observations of water cycle ECVs to consistently observe the hydrological cycle. We evaluate the relevant land, atmosphere, and ocean water storages and the fluxes between them, including anthropogenic water use. Particularly, we assess how well they close on multiple temporal and spatial scales. On this basis, we discuss gaps in observation systems and formulate guidelines for future water cycle observation strategies. We conclude that, while long-term water cycle monitoring has greatly advanced in the past, many observational gaps still need to be overcome to close the water budget and enable a comprehensive and consistent assessment across scales. Trends in water cycle components can only be observed with great uncertainty, mainly due to insufficient length and homogeneity. An advanced closure of the water cycle requires improved model–data synthesis capabilities, particularly at regional to local scales.

Full access
Manfred Wendisch
,
Ulrich Pöschl
,
Meinrat O. Andreae
,
Luiz A. T. Machado
,
Rachel Albrecht
,
Hans Schlager
,
Daniel Rosenfeld
,
Scot T. Martin
,
Ahmed Abdelmonem
,
Armin Afchine
,
Alessandro C. Araùjo
,
Paulo Artaxo
,
Heinfried Aufmhoff
,
Henrique M. J. Barbosa
,
Stephan Borrmann
,
Ramon Braga
,
Bernhard Buchholz
,
Micael Amore Cecchini
,
Anja Costa
,
Joachim Curtius
,
Maximilian Dollner
,
Marcel Dorf
,
Volker Dreiling
,
Volker Ebert
,
André Ehrlich
,
Florian Ewald
,
Gilberto Fisch
,
Andreas Fix
,
Fabian Frank
,
Daniel Fütterer
,
Christopher Heckl
,
Fabian Heidelberg
,
Tilman Hüneke
,
Evelyn Jäkel
,
Emma Järvinen
,
Tina Jurkat
,
Sandra Kanter
,
Udo Kästner
,
Mareike Kenntner
,
Jürgen Kesselmeier
,
Thomas Klimach
,
Matthias Knecht
,
Rebecca Kohl
,
Tobias Kölling
,
Martina Krämer
,
Mira Krüger
,
Trismono Candra Krisna
,
Jost V. Lavric
,
Karla Longo
,
Christoph Mahnke
,
Antonio O. Manzi
,
Bernhard Mayer
,
Stephan Mertes
,
Andreas Minikin
,
Sergej Molleker
,
Steffen Münch
,
Björn Nillius
,
Klaus Pfeilsticker
,
Christopher Pöhlker
,
Anke Roiger
,
Diana Rose
,
Dagmar Rosenow
,
Daniel Sauer
,
Martin Schnaiter
,
Johannes Schneider
,
Christiane Schulz
,
Rodrigo A. F. de Souza
,
Antonio Spanu
,
Paul Stock
,
Daniel Vila
,
Christiane Voigt
,
Adrian Walser
,
David Walter
,
Ralf Weigel
,
Bernadett Weinzierl
,
Frank Werner
,
Marcia A. Yamasoe
,
Helmut Ziereis
,
Tobias Zinner
, and
Martin Zöger

Abstract

Between 1 September and 4 October 2014, a combined airborne and ground-based measurement campaign was conducted to study tropical deep convective clouds over the Brazilian Amazon rain forest. The new German research aircraft, High Altitude and Long Range Research Aircraft (HALO), a modified Gulfstream G550, and extensive ground-based instrumentation were deployed in and near Manaus (State of Amazonas). The campaign was part of the German–Brazilian Aerosol, Cloud, Precipitation, and Radiation Interactions and Dynamics of Convective Cloud Systems–Cloud Processes of the Main Precipitation Systems in Brazil: A Contribution to Cloud Resolving Modeling and to the GPM (Global Precipitation Measurement) (ACRIDICON– CHUVA) venture to quantify aerosol–cloud–precipitation interactions and their thermodynamic, dynamic, and radiative effects by in situ and remote sensing measurements over Amazonia. The ACRIDICON–CHUVA field observations were carried out in cooperation with the second intensive operating period of Green Ocean Amazon 2014/15 (GoAmazon2014/5). In this paper we focus on the airborne data measured on HALO, which was equipped with about 30 in situ and remote sensing instruments for meteorological, trace gas, aerosol, cloud, precipitation, and spectral solar radiation measurements. Fourteen research flights with a total duration of 96 flight hours were performed. Five scientific topics were pursued: 1) cloud vertical evolution and life cycle (cloud profiling), 2) cloud processing of aerosol particles and trace gases (inflow and outflow), 3) satellite and radar validation (cloud products), 4) vertical transport and mixing (tracer experiment), and 5) cloud formation over forested/deforested areas. Data were collected in near-pristine atmospheric conditions and in environments polluted by biomass burning and urban emissions. The paper presents a general introduction of the ACRIDICON– CHUVA campaign (motivation and addressed research topics) and of HALO with its extensive instrument package, as well as a presentation of a few selected measurement results acquired during the flights for some selected scientific topics.

Full access
Manfred Wendisch
,
Andreas Macke
,
André Ehrlich
,
Christof Lüpkes
,
Mario Mech
,
Dmitry Chechin
,
Klaus Dethloff
,
Carola Barrientos Velasco
,
Heiko Bozem
,
Marlen Brückner
,
Hans-Christian Clemen
,
Susanne Crewell
,
Tobias Donth
,
Regis Dupuy
,
Kerstin Ebell
,
Ulrike Egerer
,
Ronny Engelmann
,
Christa Engler
,
Oliver Eppers
,
Martin Gehrmann
,
Xianda Gong
,
Matthias Gottschalk
,
Christophe Gourbeyre
,
Hannes Griesche
,
Jörg Hartmann
,
Markus Hartmann
,
Bernd Heinold
,
Andreas Herber
,
Hartmut Herrmann
,
Georg Heygster
,
Peter Hoor
,
Soheila Jafariserajehlou
,
Evelyn Jäkel
,
Emma Järvinen
,
Olivier Jourdan
,
Udo Kästner
,
Simonas Kecorius
,
Erlend M. Knudsen
,
Franziska Köllner
,
Jan Kretzschmar
,
Luca Lelli
,
Delphine Leroy
,
Marion Maturilli
,
Linlu Mei
,
Stephan Mertes
,
Guillaume Mioche
,
Roland Neuber
,
Marcel Nicolaus
,
Tatiana Nomokonova
,
Justus Notholt
,
Mathias Palm
,
Manuela van Pinxteren
,
Johannes Quaas
,
Philipp Richter
,
Elena Ruiz-Donoso
,
Michael Schäfer
,
Katja Schmieder
,
Martin Schnaiter
,
Johannes Schneider
,
Alfons Schwarzenböck
,
Patric Seifert
,
Matthew D. Shupe
,
Holger Siebert
,
Gunnar Spreen
,
Johannes Stapf
,
Frank Stratmann
,
Teresa Vogl
,
André Welti
,
Heike Wex
,
Alfred Wiedensohler
,
Marco Zanatta
, and
Sebastian Zeppenfeld

Abstract

Clouds play an important role in Arctic amplification. This term represents the recently observed enhanced warming of the Arctic relative to the global increase of near-surface air temperature. However, there are still important knowledge gaps regarding the interplay between Arctic clouds and aerosol particles, and surface properties, as well as turbulent and radiative fluxes that inhibit accurate model simulations of clouds in the Arctic climate system. In an attempt to resolve this so-called Arctic cloud puzzle, two comprehensive and closely coordinated field studies were conducted: the Arctic Cloud Observations Using Airborne Measurements during Polar Day (ACLOUD) aircraft campaign and the Physical Feedbacks of Arctic Boundary Layer, Sea Ice, Cloud and Aerosol (PASCAL) ice breaker expedition. Both observational studies were performed in the framework of the German Arctic Amplification: Climate Relevant Atmospheric and Surface Processes, and Feedback Mechanisms (AC) project. They took place in the vicinity of Svalbard, Norway, in May and June 2017. ACLOUD and PASCAL explored four pieces of the Arctic cloud puzzle: cloud properties, aerosol impact on clouds, atmospheric radiation, and turbulent dynamical processes. The two instrumented Polar 5 and Polar 6 aircraft; the icebreaker Research Vessel (R/V) Polarstern; an ice floe camp including an instrumented tethered balloon; and the permanent ground-based measurement station at Ny-Ålesund, Svalbard, were employed to observe Arctic low- and mid-level mixed-phase clouds and to investigate related atmospheric and surface processes. The Polar 5 aircraft served as a remote sensing observatory examining the clouds from above by downward-looking sensors; the Polar 6 aircraft operated as a flying in situ measurement laboratory sampling inside and below the clouds. Most of the collocated Polar 5/6 flights were conducted either above the R/V Polarstern or over the Ny-Ålesund station, both of which monitored the clouds from below using similar but upward-looking remote sensing techniques as the Polar 5 aircraft. Several of the flights were carried out underneath collocated satellite tracks. The paper motivates the scientific objectives of the ACLOUD/PASCAL observations and describes the measured quantities, retrieved parameters, and the applied complementary instrumentation. Furthermore, it discusses selected measurement results and poses critical research questions to be answered in future papers analyzing the data from the two field campaigns.

Open access
Robert J. H. Dunn
,
Freya Aldred
,
Nadine Gobron
,
John B. Miller
,
Kate M. Willett
,
Melanie Ades
,
Robert Adler
,
R. P. Allan
,
John Anderson
,
Orlane Anneville
,
Yasuyuki Aono
,
Anthony Argüez
,
Carlo Arosio
,
John A. Augustine
,
Cesar Azorin-Molina
,
Jonathan Barichivich
,
Aman Basu
,
Hylke E. Beck
,
Nicolas Bellouin
,
Angela Benedetti
,
Kevin Blagrave
,
Stephen Blenkinsop
,
Olivier Bock
,
Xavier Bodin
,
Michael G. Bosilovich
,
Olivier Boucher
,
Gerald Bove
,
Dennis Buechler
,
Stefan A. Buehler
,
Laura Carrea
,
Kai-Lan Chang
,
Hanne H. Christiansen
,
John R. Christy
,
Eui-Seok Chung
,
Laura M. Ciasto
,
Melanie Coldewey-Egbers
,
Owen R. Cooper
,
Richard C. Cornes
,
Curt Covey
,
Thomas Cropper
,
Molly Crotwell
,
Diego Cusicanqui
,
Sean M. Davis
,
Richard A. M. de Jeu
,
Doug Degenstein
,
Reynald Delaloye
,
Markus G. Donat
,
Wouter A. Dorigo
,
Imke Durre
,
Geoff S. Dutton
,
Gregory Duveiller
,
James W. Elkins
,
Thomas W. Estilow
,
Nava Fedaeff
,
David Fereday
,
Vitali E. Fioletov
,
Johannes Flemming
,
Michael J. Foster
,
Stacey M. Frith
,
Lucien Froidevaux
,
Martin Füllekrug
,
Judith Garforth
,
Jay Garg
,
Matthew Gentry
,
Steven Goodman
,
Qiqi Gou
,
Nikolay Granin
,
Mauro Guglielmin
,
Sebastian Hahn
,
Leopold Haimberger
,
Brad D. Hall
,
Ian Harris
,
Debbie L. Hemming
,
Martin Hirschi
,
Shu-pen (Ben) Ho
,
Robert Holzworth
,
Filip Hrbáček
,
Daan Hubert
,
Petra Hulsman
,
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
,
Hyungiun Kim
,
Zak Kipling
,
Akash Koppa
,
Jan Henning L’Abée-Lund
,
Xin Lan
,
Kathleen O. Lantz
,
David Lavers
,
Norman G. Loeb
,
Diego Loyola
,
Remi Madelon
,
Hilmar J. Malmquist
,
Wlodzimierz Marszelewski
,
Michael Mayer
,
Matthew F. McCabe
,
Tim R. McVicar
,
Carl A. Mears
,
Annette Menzel
,
Christopher J. Merchant
,
Diego G. Miralles
,
Stephen A. Montzka
,
Colin Morice
,
Leander Mösinger
,
Jens Mühle
,
Julien P. Nicolas
,
Jeannette Noetzli
,
Tiina Nõges
,
Ben Noll
,
John O’Keefe
,
Tim J. Osborn
,
Taejin Park
,
Cecile Pellet
,
Maury S. Pelto
,
Sarah E. Perkins-Kirkpatrick
,
Coda Phillips
,
Stephen Po-Chedley
,
Lorenzo Polvani
,
Wolfgang Preimesberger
,
Colin Price
,
Merja Pulkkanen
,
Dominik G. Rains
,
William J. Randel
,
Samuel Rémy
,
Lucrezia Ricciardulli
,
Andrew D. Richardson
,
David A. Robinson
,
Matthew Rodell
,
Nemesio J. Rodríguez-Fernández
,
Karen H. Rosenlof
,
Chris Roth
,
Alexei Rozanov
,
This Rutishäuser
,
Ahira Sánchez-Lugo
,
Parnchai Sawaengphokhai
,
Verena Schenzinger
,
Robert W. Schlegel
,
Udo Schneider
,
Sapna Sharma
,
Lei Shi
,
Adrian J. Simmons
,
Carolina Siso
,
Sharon L. Smith
,
Brian J. Soden
,
Viktoria Sofieva
,
Tim H. Sparks
,
Paul W. Stackhouse Jr.
,
Ryan Stauffer
,
Wolfgang Steinbrecht
,
Andrea K. Steiner
,
Kenton Stewart
,
Pietro Stradiotti
,
Dimitri A. Streletskiy
,
Hagen Telg
,
Stephen J. Thackeray
,
Emmanuel Thibert
,
Michael Todt
,
Daisuke Tokuda
,
Kleareti Tourpali
,
Mari R. Tye
,
Ronald van der A
,
Robin van der Schalie
,
Gerard van der Schrier
,
Mendy van der Vliet
,
Guido R. van der Werf
,
Arnold. van Vliet
,
Jean-Paul Vernier
,
Isaac J. Vimont
,
Katrina Virts
,
Sebastiàn Vivero
,
Holger Vömel
,
Russell S. Vose
,
Ray H. J. Wang
,
Markus Weber
,
David Wiese
,
Jeanette D. Wild
,
Earle Williams
,
Takmeng Wong
,
R. I. Woolway
,
Xungang Yin
,
Ye Yuan
,
Lin Zhao
,
Xinjia Zhou
,
Jerry R. Ziemke
,
Markus Ziese
, and
Ruxandra M. Zotta
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
,
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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.

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