WASHINGTON—The year 2022 was the 5th or 6th warmest on record globally, according to data released today by U.S. government agencies NASA and NOAA, respectively. These statistics reflect a long-term trend of the last nine years having been the nine warmest on record.
Below is a statement by Dr. Rachel Licker, a principal climate scientist at the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS).
“People in the United States and around the world experienced heart-breaking devastation from the climate crisis over the last year as a result of record-breaking heatwaves, drought, storms and wildfires. These latest data are in line with long-term global warming trends that will continue to worsen unless heat-trapping emissions are slashed drastically—far more than what the United States and other major emitters are currently doing. Should U.S. and global policymakers fail to significantly ratchet up the ambition of existing climate policies they will all but guarantee irreversible tipping points will be exceeded.
“In addition, more needs to be done to ensure people, economies and ecosystems on the frontlines of the climate crisis receive adequate investments to shore up their resilience.
“Instead of caving to fossil fuel industry interests aimed at growing their profits, we need strong leaders willing to implement bold climate policies for the betterment of people and the planet. Policymakers reluctant to move beyond incrementalism and companies engaging in greenwashing are—quite frankly—stealing the future that rightfully belongs to our children. The science is clear: Large-scale, transformative action is the only path forward.”
In addition to Dr. Licker, UCS has the following experts on staff who can discuss climate trends and other noteworthy scientific findings, including the number of billion-dollar disasters the United States experienced in 2022; their significance locally, nationally, and globally; actions policymakers must take to stave off the worst climate change impacts; and the climate resilience investments needed to address unavoidable impacts and irreversible tipping points. More information about available UCS experts is provided below:
- Dr. Astrid Caldas, a senior climate scientist for community resilience at UCS. She is available for interviews in English and Portuguese. Dr. Caldas is based in Washington, D.C. Click here for her biography.
- Dr. Rachel Cleetus, the policy director and lead economist for the Climate and Energy Program at UCS. She is based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Click here for her biography.
- Dr. Kristina Dahl, a principal climate scientist at UCS. She is based in San Francisco, California. Click here for her biography.
- Dr. Juan Declet-Barreto, a senior social scientist for climate vulnerability at UCS. He is available for interviews in English and Spanish. Dr. Declet-Barreto is based in Washington, D.C. Click here for his biography.
- Dr. Brenda Ekwurzel, the director of climate science and a senior climate scientist at UCS. She is also a co-author of the Fourth U.S. National Climate Assessment. Dr. Ekwurzel is based in Washington D.C. Click here for her biography.
- Dr. Rachel Licker, a principal climate scientist at UCS. She is based in Madison, Wisconsin. Click here for her biography.
- Dr. Shaina Sadai, the Hitz Fellow for litigation-relevant science at UCS. She is based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Click here for her biography.
- Shana Udvardy, a climate resilience analyst at UCS. She is based in Washington, D.C. Click here to view her biography.
UCS experts have extensive experience doing live and taped TV, radio, and print interviews with international, national and state media outlets. If you have any questions or would like to arrange an interview with one of our experts, please contact UCS Climate and Energy Media Manager Ashley Siefert Nunes.