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A new study on climate change

GS 3 Biodiversity and Environment

In News

The World Meteorological Organization has published the State of the Global Climate 2022 report.

More about the report:


It focuses on key climate indicators 

  •  greenhouse gases, temperatures, sea-level rise, ocean warming and acidification, sea ice, and glaciers. Additionally, it emphasizes the effects of climate change and extreme weather.

Greenhouse gases & rising temperature

  • It illustrates the changes on a global scale occurring on land, in the ocean, and in the atmosphere as a result of unprecedented levels of heat-trapping greenhouse gases.
  • At least one of the next four years could be 1.5 degrees higher than the pre-industrial average, the report warns.

Report Highlights;


Increase in Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions

  • In 2022, global GHG emissions increased further. Carbon dioxide levels are at 149% of pre-industrial levels, methane levels are at 262%, and nitrous oxide levels are at 124%.
  • The annual increase of methane from 2020 to 2021 was 18 ppb. This is the greatest growth ever recorded.

High Global Mean Temperature

  •  In 2022, the planet was 1.15 0.13 °C warmer than the pre-industrial average (1850-1900), making the last eight years the warmest on record.
  • Despite the moderating effects of La Nia, 2022 was the fifth or sixth warmest year on record.
  • Large areas with above normal precipitation in 2022 included large portions of Asia and the south-west Pacific, areas of northern South America and the Caribbean, the eastern Sahel region, parts of southern Africa, Sudan, and eastern Europe. Conversely, regions with rainfall deficits included western and central Europe, northwest Africa, portions of the Middle East, Central Asia and the Himalayas, Eastern Africa and Madagascar, central and southern South America, and northern and eastern South America.
  • As greenhouse gases accumulate in the atmosphere, temperatures on land and in the ocean rise. On timescales of centuries to millennia, it is expected that the ocean will continue to warm well into the future, a change that is irreversible.
  • In 2022, 58 percent of the ocean surface was affected by at least one marine heatwave and 25 percent by at least one marine frigid spell.


  • Sea Level Rise:
  • The global mean sea level continued to rise in 2022. In the past 30 years, the sea level has risen approximately 3,4 0.3 millimeters per year.

 Extreme Events

  • Rising global temperatures have contributed to an increase in the frequency and severity of extreme weather events, such as cold and heat surges, floods, droughts, wildfires, and storms, around the globe.


Analysing the report

IMO’s record for India

  • The agency did not specify trends by country.
  • Nevertheless, according to the India Meteorological Organisation, 2022 was the fifth warmest year on record since 2021, and the last decade was the highest in the country’s history.


Worldwide impacts

  • The Indian monsoon arrived earlier and departed earlier than usual last year.
  • Northeast India experienced flooding in June, followed by a drought in July and August.
  • Floods in Pakistan claimed over 1,500 lives and impacted over 30 million individuals.
  • Last year, heatwaves caused record temperatures in several regions of Europe, resulting in droughts and decreased river flows.
  • August was the warmest on record in North America, and forest fires erupted in many regions of the United States and Australia.


What can be done?

Need of greater investments

  • These weather fluctuations have highlighted the need for greater investments in building people’s resilience — interventions to risk-proof agriculture, create food security, develop flood and cyclone warning systems, and fortify the defenses of coasts and other vulnerable areas.The majority of countries have adaptation plans in place, according to a UN report published at the end of last year, and “instruments are getting better at prioritizing disadvantaged groups.”Nevertheless, the report observes that international “adaptation finance flows to developing countries are five to ten times below estimated needs, and the gap is widening.”

Need of reviewing Paris targets

  • At Paris in 2015, the majority of nations concurred that limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels is the key to maintaining tolerable levels of climate change.Consequently, it became evident that achieving this objective required significant emission reductions.
  • However, many experts now argue that the cumulative ambition conveyed by the Paris Pact’s voluntary targets — the Nationally Determined Contributions — was insufficient to keep the temperature rise below the tolerable limit.

Way ahead

  • The United Nations Climate Change Conference or Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC, commonly known as COP28, will be held in Expo City, Dubai, from November 30 to December 12, 2023.
  • At COP-28 in Dubai, climate diplomats will assess progress in meeting the Paris Agreement’s goals.
  • The most recent WMO report should prompt a reevaluation of goals and course corrections, particularly for the protection of the most vulnerable.
About Paris Agreement:


·        It is a legally binding international treaty on climate change;

·        It replaced the Kyoto Protocol, an earlier agreement to address climate change; and

·        It is a legally binding international treaty on climate change.

·        It is a landmark agreement because it brings all nations together for the first time in a common endeavor to combat climate change and adapt to its effects.

·        It was ratified by 196 Parties at COP 21 in Paris in December 2015, and came into effect in November 2016.

Conference of Parties(COP)

  •  It is the UNFCCC’s highest decision-making body.


  • The agreement aims to limit global warming to well below 2°C, and preferable to 1.5°C, relative to pre-industrial levels.

Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs)

·        In order to accomplish the targets outlined in the agreement, the member countries must submit their own targets, which they believe will result in significant progress towards the Paris temperature goal.

·        These objectives are initially referred to as Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs).

·        They are transformed into NDCs upon ratification of the agreement.


Daily Mains Question

[Q] There is a need for increased investments in strengthening people’s resistance to climate change and fortifying the defenses of coasts and other vulnerable areas. Analyse.