Many parts of India witnessed extreme heat and flooding that caused deaths and economic losses, the World Meteorological Organization said in a report on Friday.

The organisation, which is an agency of the United Nations, released its “State of the Global Climate 2022” report on Friday.

The report said that heatwaves in the pre-monsoon season in India caused a decline in crop yields.

“The pre-monsoon period was exceptionally hot in India and Pakistan,” the organisation said. “...In India, grain yields were reduced by the extreme heat and there were a number of forest fires, particularly in Uttarakhand.”

The report said that there was also significant flooding in the country at various stages during the monsoon, particularly in the North East in June. It said that 700 deaths due to flooding and landslides, and 900 fatalities due to lightning strikes, were reported during the monsoon.

In June and July, Assam and Meghalaya witnessed record levels of rainfall, leading to flooding and landslides. The districts of Barpeta and Cachar in Assam along with East Khasi Hills and South Garo Hills in Meghalaya were among the worst-hit regions.

The World Meteorological Organization’s report said that the onset of the monsoon in India was earlier than normal and the withdrawal was later than normal in 2022. “The majority of the Indian subcontinent was wetter than average and the monsoon extended farther westward than usual towards Pakistan, where there was extensive flooding,” the report said.

Floods in Pakistan caused over 1,700 deaths and led to damages of over $30 billion (INR 2.46 lakh crore) from June to September.

‘2022 was fifth or sixth warmest year on record’

The report of the United Nations agency also said that 2022 was the “fifth or sixth warmest year” on record globally. It said that the years 2015 to 2022 were the eight warmest years in 173 years.

“While greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise and the climate continues to change, populations worldwide continue to be gravely impacted by extreme weather and climate events,” the organisation’s Secretary-General Petteri Taalas said. “For example, in 2022, continuous drought in East Africa, record breaking rainfall in Pakistan and record-breaking heatwaves in China and Europe affected tens of millions, drove food insecurity, boosted mass migration, and cost billions of dollars in loss and damage.”

Taalas said that currently, about one hundred countries do not have adequate weather services in place. “Achieving this ambitious task requires improvement of observation networks, investments in early warning, hydrological and climate service capacities,” he added.