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‘The State of the Climate 2022’ Report Finds ‘Little To Alarm’ -By Prof. Ole Humlum

The State of the Climate 2022

London, 12 April – In his annual review of the state of the global climate, Professor Ole Humlum finds much of interest to readers, but little to alarm them.

There are some climate trends that support claims of climate concern – but many that do not.

For example, Professor Humlum draws attention to the patterns of ocean warming:

“The top of most oceans shows significant warming, but below the top layer there is very little. Further down you find warming again. This suggests that changes in ocean circulation are just as important as carbon-dioxide driven warming.”

Similarly, while the surface of the Antarctic and equatorial oceans have warmed in recent years, the Arctic ocean has cooled at almost all depths.

“There are far more factors to the climate than carbon dioxide”, says Professor Humlum.

The review covers a wide range of temperature measurements in both ocean and atmosphere, alongside reviews of oceanic oscillations, sea level, snow and ice measurements and storms.

Ole Humlum: The State of the Climate 2022 (pdf)

Selected Excerpts: 

Temperature: Globally, since 2004, the upper 1900m of the oceans have experienced net warming of about 0.07°C. The maximum net warming (about 0.2°C) affects the uppermost 100m. This is seen mainly in regions near the Equator, where the greatest amount of solar radiation is received. At greater depths, a small (about 0.025°C) net warming has occurred between 2004 and 2020.

Relative to the whole period since 1850/1880, 2022 was warm, but cooler than most years since 2016. A moderate La Niña episode played out during the year, underlining the importance of ocean-atmosphere exchanges.

Sea level: Sea level is monitored by satellite altimetry and by direct measurements using tide gauges situated along coasts. While the satellite-derived record suggests a global sea level rise of about 3.4mm per year or more, data from tide gauges all over the world suggest a stable average global sea-level rise of 1–2mm per year. The measurements do not indicate any recent acceleration (or deceleration). The marked difference (a ratio of about 1:2) between the two datasets still has no universally accepted explanation, but it is known that satellite observations of sea level are complicated in areas near the coast (see, e.g., Vignudelli et al. 2019). Either way, for local coastal planning, the tide-gauge data is preferred, as explained later in this report.

Snow cover: Variations in global snow cover are mainly caused by changes in the Northern Hemisphere, where all the major land areas are located. The Southern Hemisphere snow cover extent is essentially controlled by the Antarctic Ice Sheet, and therefore relatively stable. The Northern Hemisphere average snow cover extent has also been more or less static since the onset of satellite observations, although local and regional interannual variations may be large. Considering seasonal changes in the Northern Hemisphere since 1979, autumn extent is slightly increasing, mid-winter extent is basically stable, and spring extent is slightly decreasing. In 2022, the Northern Hemisphere seasonal snow cover extent was near the 1972–2021 average.

Sea ice: In 2022, global sea-ice cover remained well below the average for the satellite era (since 1979), but now with a stable or even rising global trend indicated. At the end of 2016, global sea ice extent reached a marked minimum, at least partly caused by the operation of two different natural cycles characterising sea ice in the Northern- and Southern Hemispheres, respectively. The two cycles had simultaneous minima in 2016, with consequences for the global seaice extent. The opposite development, towards stable or higher sea-ice extent at both poles, probably began in 2018, and has since become more pronounced.

Storms and hurricanes: The most recent data on global tropical storm and hurricane accumulated cyclone energy (ACE) is well within the range seen since 1970. The ACE series displays a variable pattern over time, with a significant 3.6-year variation, but without any clear trend towards higher or lower values. A longer ACE series for the Atlantic Basin (since 1850), however, suggests natural rhythms of 55.8- and 7.8-years’ duration. In addition, modern data on the number of hurricane landfalls in the continental United States remains within the normal range throughout the entire observation period since 1851.