Looking beyond Australia, a range of extreme events took place globally with 2022 the sixth warmest year on record since 1880.
While Australia experienced record breaking flooding; heat waves, wildfires and drought swept across the Northern Hemisphere. India and Pakistan experienced record-breaking heat waves in late April and May. Parts of India reached temperatures over 47.0°C, according to the India Meteorological Department. Jacobabad in Pakistan exceeded its previous record for maximum temperature by over 1.0°C, reaching 49.0°C on April 30th. China experienced a particularly severe heatwave; their most severe summer heatwave in six decades. It persisted for 70 days with many regions experiencing sustained temperatures in excess of 40°C, affecting over 900 million people. The heat was accompanied with low rainfall which exacerbated drought conditions in China. Parts of the Yangtze River reached their lowest level since 1865.
The heat coincided with wildfires and severe drought across the region. The wildfires were particularly severe in Spain, Portugal, Romania and France.
Catastrophic floods and storms were a feature of global weather in 2022. Pakistan endured record-breaking floods during the monsoon season (June to October), which impacted approximately 33 million people and killed over 1,700 people. In the United States, there were 10 severe storms and two tropical cyclones where losses were over $1 billion for each event. The most severe of these was Hurricane Ian, where sustained winds over 240 km/hr hit Florida on the 28th of September. Hurricane Ian caused over 140 deaths and billions in damages.
The State of Weather and Climate Extremes 2022
Extreme events in 2022
© 2023 ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate Extremes
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20/03/23 – Text has been updated to correct an error in the warmest years on record.