2022 was Earth's fifth hottest year on record - NASA

Overall, Earth is now around 1.11 degrees Celsius warmer than the average during the late 19th century, NASA said, warning of climate change.

 Global warming: Temperatures in 2022 fifth warmest on record (Illustrative). (photo credit: Roberto Rizzato/Flickr)
Global warming: Temperatures in 2022 fifth warmest on record (Illustrative).
(photo credit: Roberto Rizzato/Flickr)

The year 2022 is the fifth warmest year on record, tied with 2015 in terms of average surface temperature, NASA reported in a new analysis.

These reports are in line with an overall trend in warming temperatures, with global temperatures in 2022 being 0.89 degrees Celsius above NASA's average for its baseline.

Overall, Earth is now around 1.11 degrees Celsius warmer than the average during the late 19th century.

This trend was especially evident over the past nine years, being significantly warmer since recordkeeping started in 1880. 

"This warming trend is alarming," NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said in a statement. 

 Interrelated crises with reciprocal feedback: Pollution, Climate change and Activity that Impairs Biodiversity (credit: studiovin/Shutterstock) Interrelated crises with reciprocal feedback: Pollution, Climate change and Activity that Impairs Biodiversity (credit: studiovin/Shutterstock)

"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."

"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."

Bill Nelson

Why are temperatures getting warmer over the past nine years?

The answer to this isn't exactly rocket science: It's climate change. 

This change in the climate is sparked by several factors, but the biggest one is the constant bombardment of greenhouse gases being emitted into the atmosphere, more than the Earth's natural carbon cycle can handle.

Greenhouse gases did manage to go down in 2020, though this was due to COVID-19 lockdowns. Now, they've rebounded – and NASA has concluded that carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in 2022 were the highest ever on record.

The warming temperatures are also four times as strong in the Arctic compared to the rest of the world, as further NASA research has indicated.

All of this is resulting in significant environmental ramifications throughout the world, such as intense rainfalls and severe droughts and stronger storms. 

These changes were all observed by NASA's many research efforts, making use of satellites, observatories and other advanced efforts.

"NASA is deepening our commitment to do our part in addressing climate change," Nelson said. "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."

Interestingly, a separate independent study conducted by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) determined that 2022 was actually the year with the sixth warmest global surface temperatures on record, rather than the fifth. However, both reports highlight the damages of the ongoing trend of global warming.