Indicators of Global Climate Change 2022: annual update of large-scale indicators of the state of the climate system and human influence

Jun 30, 2023

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) assessments are the trusted source of scientific evidence for climate negotiations taking place under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), including the first global stocktake under the Paris Agreement that will conclude at COP28 in December 2023. Evidence-based decision-making needs to be informed by up-to-date and timely information on key indicators of the state of the climate system and of the human influence on the global climate system. However, successive IPCC reports are published at intervals of 5–10 years, creating potential for an information gap between report cycles.

We follow methods as close as possible to those used in the IPCC Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) Working Group One (WGI) report. We compile monitoring datasets to produce estimates for key climate indicators related to forcing of the climate system: emissions of greenhouse gases and short-lived climate forcers, greenhouse gas concentrations, radiative forcing, surface temperature changes, the Earth’s energy imbalance, warming attributed to human activities, the remaining carbon budget, and estimates of global temperature extremes. The purpose of this effort, grounded in an open data, open science approach, is to make annually updated reliable global climate indicators available in the public domain (https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.8000192, Smith et al., 2023a). As they are traceable to IPCC report methods, they can be trusted by all parties involved in UNFCCC negotiations and help convey wider understanding of the latest knowledge of the climate system and its direction of travel.

The indicators show that human-induced warming reached 1.14 [0.9 to 1.4] ∘C averaged over the 2013–2022 decade and 1.26 [1.0 to 1.6] ∘C in 2022. Over the 2013–2022 period, human-induced warming has been increasing at an unprecedented rate of over 0.2 ∘C per decade. This high rate of warming is caused by a combination of greenhouse gas emissions being at an all-time high of 54 ± 5.3 GtCO2e over the last decade, as well as reductions in the strength of aerosol cooling. Despite this, there is evidence that increases in greenhouse gas emissions have slowed, and depending on societal choices, a continued series of these annual updates over the critical 2020s decade could track a change of direction for human influence on climate.

Publication details
Theme(s)
The meaning of net zero The urgency of zero
Type(s)
Research paper
Author(s)
Allen, Myles Jenkins, Stuart Walsh, Tristram
Year(s)
2023
Earth Systems Science Data

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