On January 1st, Switzerland recorded its highest-ever January temperature north of the Alps. The mercury hit 20.9 degrees Celsius (69.6 degrees Fahrenheit) in the town of Delemont in canton Jura in northwest Switzerland.
According to Swiss Info, the previous January high north of the Alps had been 19.4 C, recorded in Lucerne on January 12th,. The highest January temperature ever recorded anywhere in Switzerland was 24 C recorded in Locarno-Monti (2007) and Lugano (1944) in the south of the country.
MeteoSwiss stated that the record January temperature in Delemont was caused by warm winds from the southwest combined with the Foehn wind – a dry, warm down slope wind – coming off the Jura mountains.
It is already too late for many glaciers and the melting will continue for hundreds or even thousands of years.Petteri Taalas, World Meteorlogical Organization director
Other locations also saw warm weather January 1st. In Vevey on Lake Geneva, people queued for ice creams, while swimmers enjoyed the traditional New Year’s Day dip in Lake Geneva.
In late December, the UK’s Meteorological Office stated that all four of the UK’s seasons in 2022 were in the top 10 warmest on record. Autumn was the third hottest, spring the fifth, summer the fourth and winter the eighth.
“This year had the highest annual average temperature across the UK, exceeding the previous record set in 2014 when the average was 9.88 degrees Celsius (49.78 degrees Fahrenheit)”, the Met Office said in a statement.
According to British magazine Phys, England broke its all-time temperature record in July when the mercury reached 40 degrees Celsius for the first time ever. It was the driest on record across the south. 2022 saw a series of heat waves across Europe, droughts and fires in different parts of the world, all of them linked to global warming.
Belgium recorded its warmest New Year’s Eve since measurements began in 1833. According to the Brussels Times, temperatures reached 16.2 degrees Celsius on Saturday morning. The previous record was 14 degrees, registered in 2021.
In late November, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) released data showing that the last 8 years have been the warmest on record. Continued emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) have amplified the effects of global warming.
Antonio Guterres, secretary-general of the United Nations, said that the planet is on the verge of tipping into irreversible climate chaos. GHG emissions have reached record levels in the atmosphere. Emissions of methane, a gas 25 times more potent than CO2 on a global warming potential (GWP) basis, have exceeded all historical thresholds.
“CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere are so high that the 1.5°C target is barely within the realm of possibility,” said WMO director Petteri Taalas. “It is already too late for many glaciers and the melting will continue for hundreds or even thousands of years, with major consequences on water supply.”
Sea levels are also at a “record high” in 2022, rising 10 mm since January 2020, or 10% of the rise recorded since satellite measurements began nearly 30 years ago. And the rate has doubled since 1993. The planet has also been hit by a spate of extreme events this year, from historic floods in Pakistan to repeated heat waves in Europe and drought in the Horn of Africa. The melting of glaciers is getting worse with the Alps losing 4 meters of height only in 2022.