Italy, 2022 was the hottest year ever

Italy, 2022 was the hottest year ever


For Italy, 2022 was the hottest year ever. News that comes as the Italian political debate on the climate revolves around the paint-paint assault on the Senate by Last Generation activists. The numbers are contained in the Global Climate Highlights 2022, a report produced by Copernicus, the satellite monitoring program of the planet promoted by the European Commission and the European Space Agency. The data, released today, say that 2022 was the second hottest year ever in Europe, the fifth in the world, with the clarification that between fourth and eighth place the difference is very minimal. Here are the contents of the report in more detail.


The data collected globally by satellite put 2022 in fifth place in the ranking of the hottest year since the the surveys. A higher average temperature was recorded only in 2016, 2020, 2019 and 2017. More specifically, this is an increase of 0.3 degrees Celsius compared to the period 1991-2020 and 1.2°C compared to the pre-industrial era (1850-1900). In other words: just three tenths of a degree less than the 1.5°C set as the goal of limiting the increase in global temperature by the countries that signed the Paris Agreements. This is the global situation summarized in a graph:

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Click here if you don't see the graph Looking instead at Europe alone, the temperature in 2022 was just 0.3°C lower than in 2020, the hottest year on record. With the sole exception of Iceland , all European countries experienced an average annual temperature higher than the average for the period between 1991 and 2020 . In several countries in southwestern Europe, last year brought with it the highest average annual temperatures since at least 1950.

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Click here if you don't see the graph This graph shows how 2022 was the hottest year ever for Italy. A result that is far from enviable and that our country shares with several other European nations, starting with France, the United Kingdom and Spain. In Germany, 2022 was the second hottest year ever, in the Netherlands the third.

On a continental level, Copernicus reports, the summer was the hottest ever recorded, just before 2021 . On the other hand, autumn was the third warmest, surpassed only by those of 2020 and 2006, while winter temperatures were about one degree above average. A result that placed last year's one among the ten warmest since the data were collected. The only exception was spring, which saw temperatures just below the average for the reference period (1991-2020).

Looking at the monthly data, only the temperatures in March, April and September were below the average. In 2022, Europe experienced its second warmest June, with temperatures 1.6°C above average, and its warmest October ever, with almost 2°C above average.

Drought and fires

To worsen the situation, last year, two phenomena occurred. The first is the drought that has hit the whole continent. The image below, in the top left box, shows the variation in rainfall between July and August of last year compared to the average for the period 1991-2020:

A decrease in precipitation, which also brought with it a reduction in the relative humidity of surface air (top right image) and in the volumetric moisture content of the top 7 centimeters of soil (bottom left). The result is precisely in the above-average temperature values, shown in the image at the bottom right.

The summer drought also resulted in an increase in forest fires. Or rather, an increase in fire-related emissions: last summer, the European Union and the United Kingdom recorded the highest emissions in 15 years. France, Germany, Spain and Slovenia even in the last 20 years.

Concentrations of greenhouse gases

Behind these record temperatures are the concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, which in 2022 known new increases. For carbon dioxide, the increase was 2.1 parts per million. The average annual concentration level rose to 417 parts per million, according to Copernicus the highest for over 2 million years.

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Click here if you do not see the graph. Another greenhouse gas whose concentration is accounted for by the Global Climate Highlights 2022 of Copernicus is methane, whose presence in the atmosphere has increased by 12 parts per billion, thus reaching an annual average of 1,894. This is the highest value in the last 800 thousand years.

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Click here if you do not see the graph "Greenhouse gases such as 'carbon dioxide and methane are the main culprits of climate change" , the director of the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service Vincent-Henri Peuch recalled in a note, "the objective of our monitoring is to provide useful tools for evaluate more specifically the effectiveness of climate change mitigation measures". Without which the classification of the hottest year is destined to be updated.

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