Climate Change

2022 too short, too far: How the climate emergency hit us

Down To Earth recaps the primary environment, health and developmental news from 2022  

By DTE Staff
Published: Monday 26 December 2022
Photo: iStock
Photo: iStock Photo: iStock

The year 2022 saw several extreme weather events all over the world due to climate emergency. These events are expected to increase if the effects of climate change are not mitigated.

Vulnerable countries also geared up this year for a renewed battle over compensation for the growing hazards of global warming from richer countries, also known as loss and damage, at the 27th Conference of Parties (COP27) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC).

Go through the following selection of Down To Earth’s articles on extreme weather events and its global impact.

This October, India experienced extreme weather events on 30 of the 31 days, according to India’s Atlas on Weather Disasters released by DTE-Centre for Science and Environment Data Centre. 

Read more: India lost 6 people daily to extreme weather events in October

There is more evidence of the worsening impact of global warming on the Indo-Gangetic Plain (IGP) that straddles eastern Pakistan, northern India, southern Nepal and the whole of Bangladesh. 

Read more: Indo-Gangetic Plain drying up? Water storage declined, ‘stream flow’ rose in Ganga, Indus basins last year, says WMO

A loss and damage fund was created at the COP27, focusing on particularly vulnerable countries. But questions remain about who is eligible to receive money and who has to pay it.

Read more: Who will pay or claim loss and damage money? COP27 agreed on a fund; but questions remain

Every state and Union territory (UT) reported dengue cases till November 2022. The increasing burden of dengue has often been linked with climate change, among other factors. India recorded 63,280 dengue cases as of September 30, 2022. 

Read more: Is it climate change that impacts trajectory of dengue in India?

Growing reliance on fossil fuels have increased heat deaths, hunger, heat-related illnesses and infectious diseases. Some 98 million more people across the world reported moderate to severe food insecurity in 2020.

Read more: Climate impact on health: India’s heat-related deaths went up by 55%, finds Lancet data

Climate change has impacted the frequency and ferociousness of cyclones in the region like elsewhere in the world. Frequency of very severe cyclonic storms during the post-monsoon season has increased by 1 event per a decade.

Read more: Cyclones getting fiercer; account for nearly half of India’s deaths due to climate-related disasters

Uttar Pradesh, which was hit by drought till August, was flooded with water due to sudden heavy rains at a time when the southwest monsoon was well into its retreat. Three districts recorded 10,000 per cent more rainfall than normal in just 24 hours October 5, 2022.

Read more: UP Dussehra downpour: 10,000% excess rain in 3 districts of state wrecks kharif crop

Climate change is likely to trigger severe drought in India’s permanent snow and ice regions, impacting long-term water storage in the Himalayas, a new study warned.

Read more: ‘Permanently frozen’ Himalayan areas at severe drought risk due to global warming

Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology predicted a third consecutive event of La Nina could be underway, leading to additional rainfall along its east coast this summer. Southwest monsoon will likely extend till October, with detrimental impacts on Indian agriculture. 

Read more: Rare 3rd consecutive La Nina event underway, could impact agriculture

Cyclones are known to occur during pre-monsoon months of April, May, June and later in October, November and December. However, it is likely that cyclones in monsoon could become a new normal due to climate change. 

Read more: Have cyclones in monsoon become the new ‘normal’?

East and North East India received below normal rainfall in June and July.

Read more: Monsoon 2022: Driest July on record for east and North East India

Climate disasters led to 4.9 million internal displacements in India last year.

Read more: 23,700,000: That's how many people climate change forced out of their homes in 2021

It has been half a century since the Stockholm conference. We still seek the Stockholm declaration’s ideals, which shows how we need to up our game to prevent the planet’s environmental crisis.

Read more: 50 years since Stockholm conference: The summer lingers

The average global surface temperature January-December 2021 was the sixth highest since global records began in 1880.

Read more: 2021 sixth warmest year since 1880

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