Newsletter Issue 17 (March 2022)

The Weather of February 2022 – A colder and exceptionally wet February

With stronger than normal winter monsoon affecting southern China in the month, the weather of Hong Kong was much colder than usual in February 2022. The monthly mean temperature was 15.2 degrees, 1.9 degrees below the normal figure. Mainly attributing to the continuous rain episode on 19 – 22 February, the month was also much wetter than usual with a total rainfall of 168.5 millimetres, more than four times of the normal.

Annual Weather Outlook for Hong Kong in 2022

The Hong Kong Observatory has issued the annual outlook for 2022. It is expected that the tropical cyclone season may start in June or earlier, and end in October or later. There will be about five to eight tropical cyclones coming within 500 kilometres of Hong Kong this year, which is normal to above normal. Annual rainfall is expected to be normal to above normal. Under the influence of global warming and local urbanization, the chance of normal to above-normal annual mean temperature is relatively higher.

World Meteorological Day 2022 – Early Warning and Early Action

Weather, climate and water extremes are becoming more frequent and intense in many parts of the world as a result of climate change. More of us are exposed than ever before to multiple related hazards, which are themselves evolving as a result of population growth, urbanization and environmental degradation. Being prepared and able to act at the right time, in the right place, can save many lives and protect the livelihoods of communities everywhere, both now and in the future.

Second part of the IPCC 6th Assessment Report released

The Working Group II contribution to the IPCC Sixth Assessment Report assesses the impacts of climate change, looking at ecosystems, biodiversity, and human communities at global and regional levels. It also reviews vulnerabilities and the capacities and limits of the natural world and human societies to adapt to climate change. (Full report)

Climate change: Future of Winter Olympics and snow sports on thin ice, report warns

A new report released this week by the UN’s IPCC looks at the causes, impacts and solutions to climate change.
1) Things are way worse than we thought
2) Loss and damage gets scientific backing
3) Technology is not a silver bullet
4) Cities offer hope
5) The small window is closing fast

Amazon rainforest reaching tipping point, researchers say

The Amazon rainforest is moving towards a “tipping point” where trees may die off en masse, say researchers. A study suggests the world’s largest rainforest is losing its ability to bounce back from damage caused by droughts, fires and deforestation. Large swathes could become sparsely forested savannah, which is much less efficient than tropical forest at sucking carbon dioxide from the air. The giant forest traps carbon that would otherwise add to global warming.

California drought, Australia floods: Two sides of La Niña amplified by climate change

California just notched its driest January and February on record, sounding alarms about a third year of record drought. Across the Pacific Ocean, thousands are fleeing record flooding in Australia. All of these are related as a multiyear La Niña event, amplified by the effects of climate change, brings consecutive years of drought to some parts of the world and torrential rain to others.

UNEP combats pollution, restores ozone and protects seas, UN chief tells 50th anniversary session

“The planet was already showing signs of buckling under the weight of humanity” back in 1972 when the agency was founded, Secretary-General António Guterres explained to the event in Nairobi, commemorating the agency’s golden anniversary. “In the following decades, UNEP and its partners would work with Member States to combat air pollution, restore the ozone layer, protect the world’s seas, promote a green and inclusive economy and raise the alarm about biodiversity loss and climate change”.

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