Earth’s average surface temperature in 2022 tied with 2015 was the fifth warmest on record, according to a report by NASA. Due to Earth’s continuous warming trend, global temperatures in 2022 were 1.6 degrees Fahrenheit above the average for NASA’s baseline period, which is from 1951-1980. This information has been reported by scientists from NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York.
According to NASA administrator Bill Nelson, “This warming trend is alarming”.
He further added “Our warming climate is already making a mark: Forest fires are intensifying; hurricanes are getting stronger; droughts are wreaking havoc and sea levels are rising. NASA is deepening our commitment to do our part in addressing climate change. Our Earth System Observatory will provide state-of-the-art data to support our climate modeling, analysis and predictions to help humanity confront our planet’s changing climate.”
The report also mentions that the past nine years have been the warmest ever since record keeping began in 1880. As per the data, it also shows that the Earth in 2022 was about 2 degrees Fahrenheit which means it was even warmer than the late 19th-century average.
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Reason behind a warmer planet?
Human activities! Humans continue to pump huge amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, as said by Gavin Schmidt, director of GISS, NASA’s leading center for climate modeling.
Although human involvement in greenhouse gases declined a bit in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Recently, NASA scientists as well as international scientists reported that the year 2022 had the highest record for carbon dioxide emissions.
How is this data acquired?
NASA’s global temperature analysis comes from data collected from several weather stations as well as Antarctic research stations. It also comes from instruments which are mounted on ships and ocean buoys. Once the data is acquired, NASA scientists then analyse the data by looking for any uncertainties so as to maintain consistent methods for calculating global average surface temperature differences for every year.
These ground-based measurements of the surface temperature are consistent with satellite data which has been collected since 2002 by the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder on NASA’s Aqua satellite and with other estimates.
NASA uses the period from 1951-1980 as a baseline to understand how global temperatures change over a period of time. The baseline includes climate patterns such as La Niña and El Niño, as well as unusually hot or cold years due to other factors, ensuring it encompasses natural variations in Earth’s temperature, as mentioned in a report by NASA.
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