The Global Water Monitor Consortium, an Australian organization, has released a report on the events of 2022, concluding that the droughts and floods experienced last year were caused by disruptions in the water cycle. The team collected and analyzed data from various sources, including ground stations and satellite imagery, to determine factors such as soil humidity, river flow rates, temperature, and precipitation.

The report found that ocean temperatures were abnormal, with warmer temperatures in the western Pacific and eastern and northern Indian Oceans, and cooler temperatures in the eastern Pacific. These temperature anomalies caused disruptions in the water cycle, resulting in more extreme weather patterns, such as increased evaporation and intense precipitation in some areas, and drought in others.

2022: A Year of Extreme Precipitation

Scientists have found that ocean temperatures played a significant role in the historic heat wave in southern Asia (India and Pakistan) in 2022, which was followed by a catastrophic monsoon in Pakistan. The heavy rains also affected India, Afghanistan, Thailand, Australia, and Cambodia. However, while some regions experienced excessive precipitation, others faced severe droughts, such as Europe (France in particular), the west of the United States, China, and South America.

In fact, global records show that the past three years have seen the highest number of rainfall deficits since the first records in 1980.

Global Air Humidity

Air humidity levels in 2022 were the second lowest on record, surpassed only by 2021. This affected 36 countries, with 13 of them being in Europe. Additionally, 27 countries experienced abnormal high temperatures, with 12 of them being in Europe, including France.

The highest temperature anomaly was recorded in Monaco, where the temperature was 1.8°C above the normal average. Many scientists are now exploring the possibility that the “triple La Niña” phenomenon could be linked to disruptions in the water cycle.

The Remarkable Duration

Australian researchers are questioning the unusual duration of the La Niña phenomenon, which is characterized by colder than average water in the eastern Pacific. They are wondering if the occurrence of three consecutive years of La Niña, which typically lasts only one or two years, is a natural occurrence or a sign of a disruption in the water cycle.

Some studies have suggested that global warming could intensify El Niño and La Niña, but there has been no statistical evidence to support this claim. However, if the duration of these phenomena continues to be as long in the future, then the impact of global warming on El Niño and La Niña can no longer be considered a mere hypothesis.