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Earth’s Fever Continues: Warmest May on Record

Posted by feww on June 19, 2015

Year-to-date also record warm: Report

The globally averaged temperature over land and ocean surfaces for May 2015 was 15.67°C (60.17°F), the highest for the month since record keeping began in 1880. Globally averaged temperature for March–May and the year-to-date (January–May) were also record highs, according to the State of the Climate Report.

  • The combined average temperature across global land and ocean surfaces for May was 0.87°C (1.57°F) above the 20th century average of 14.8°C (58.6°F)—the highest for May in the 136-year period of record, topping the previous record set in 2014 by 0.08°C (0.14°F).
  • The globally-averaged sea surface temperature was 0.72°C (1.30°F) above the 20th century average of 16.3°C (61.3°F)—the highest ever recorded for the month, topping record set in 2014 by 0.07°C (0.13°F).
  • The average global temperature across land surfaces was 1.28°C (2.30°F) above the 20th century average of 11.1°C (52.0°F), tying with 2012 as the highest May temperature on record.
  • The average Arctic sea ice extent for May was about 1.89 million km² (730,000 square miles), or 5.5 percent below the 1981–2010 average, making it the third smallest May extent since records began in 1979.  [The smallest sea ice extent occurred in May 2004, when the cover shrank to about 1.82million km² (703,000 square miles,) said the report
  • Antarctic sea ice during May was about 1.3 million km² (500,000 square miles), or 12.1 percent above the 1981–2010 average. The May extent was the largest Antarctic sea ice extent on record, exceeding the previous record set in 2014 by about 52,000km² (20,000 square miles).

January – May 2015

  • The first five months of 2015 were the warmest such period on record across the world’s land and ocean surfaces, at 0.85°C (1.53°F) above the 20th century average, surpassing the previous record set in 2010 by 0.09°C (0.16°F).

NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information, State of the Climate: Global Analysis for May 2015, published online June 2015, retrieved on June 19, 2015 from http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/global/201505.

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