Newsletter Issue 23 (September 2022)

The Weather of August 2022 – A wet August

Mainly attributed to the rainfall associated with the tropical cyclone activity over the northern part of the South China Sea, August 2022 was wetter than usual with the monthly rainfall of 614.8 millimetres, about 36 percent more than the normal figure of 453.2 millimetres. The accumulated rainfall recorded in the first eight months of the year was 1 827.8 millimetres, about 5 percent below the normal figure of 1 921.5 millimetres for the same period.

WMO predicts first “triple-dip” La Niña of the century

It is likely that the protracted La Niña event will last until at least the end of the year, becoming this century’s first “triple-dip“ La Niña, spanning three consecutive northern hemisphere winters (southern hemisphere summers), according to a new El Niño/La Niña Update from the WMO. The update predicts the continuation of the current La Niña over the next six months, with a 70% chance in September-November 2022 but gradually decreasing to 55% in December-February 2022/2023.

United in Science: We are heading in the wrong direction

Climate science is clear: we are heading in the wrong direction, according to a new multi-agency report “United in Science” coordinated by the WMO, which highlights the huge gap between aspirations and reality. Without much more ambitious action, the physical and socioeconomic impacts of climate change will be increasingly devastating, it warns. “Climate science is increasingly able to show that many of the extreme weather events that we are experiencing have become more likely and more intense due to human-induced climate change.”

“Climate penalty” cries the WMO in their latest Air Quality and Climate Bulletin

The WMO released their forecast for hotter, longer and increasing heat waves triggering wildfires creating a “climate penalty”. “This is a foretaste of the future because we expect a further increase in the frequency, intensity and duration of heatwaves, which could lead to even worse air quality, a phenomenon known as the climate penalty”, said WMO’s Secretary-General Petteri Taalas in a statement.

World on brink of five ‘disastrous’ climate tipping points, study finds

The climate crisis has driven the world to the brink of multiple “disastrous” tipping points, according to a major study. “The Earth may have left a ‘safe’ climate state beyond 1C global warming,” the researchers concluded, with the whole of human civilisation having developed in temperatures below this level. Passing one tipping point is often likely to help trigger others, producing cascades. But this is still being studied and was not included, meaning the analysis may present the minimum danger.

Pakistan is bearing the brunt of the climate crisis despite “small carbon footprint”, minister says

Pakistan is facing the worst consequences of the climate crisis thanks in part to the actions of the developed world, Finance Minister Miftah Ismail said, as the country battles the worst floods in its history. “Pakistan is one of the worst-affected countries by climate change. We have, as you know, a very, very small carbon footprint, we don’t really produce carbon dioxide and other harmful gases.”

Heatwaves and floods around the world may be a taste of years to come

Equally fraught are questions of responsibility. Whether or not specific disasters were made more likely to occur by ENSO, climate change is doubtless playing a role in increasing the severity of those events. This year’s extreme weather events have set a particularly dramatic backdrop for the upcoming COP27 meeting in Egypt, with its long-awaited discussions on who bears the blame and, more important, who will foot the resulting bill.

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