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Climate: Global temps hit new May record

Year to-date is fifth-warmest through May

You have to look pretty hard for the tiny cool spots.

You have to look pretty hard for the tiny cool spots.

By Summit Voice

FRISCO — The average global temperature soared to a new record in May, more than 1.3 degrees Fahrenheit above the 20th century average, according to the latest monthly update from the National Climatic Data Center.

Land surface temperatures were well above average in many parts of the world, including Australia and Alaska, but sea surface temperatures were off the charts, driving the global average temperature for the month to an all-time high.

At 1.06 degrees Fahrenheit above the 20th century average, sea surface temperatures in May tied with June 1998, October 2003, and July 2009 as the highest departure from average for any month on record.

For the March to May period, the combined global land and ocean average surface temperature for the March–May period was also 1.33 degrees above the 20th century average of56.7°F, making it the second warmest such period on record, behind 2010.

Four of the five warmest Mays on record have occurred in the past five years: 2010 (second warmest), 2012 (third warmest), 2013 (fifth warmest), and 2014 (warmest); currently, 1998 has the fourth warmest May on record.

May 2014 marked the 39th month in a row with a global temperature above the 20th century average. The last time May global temps were below average was in 1976, while the last below-average temperature for any month was in February 1985.

Globally, land-surface temperatures were the fourth-highest on record for May. According to the NCDC, the seven warmest Mays over land have all been observed during the 21st century, with the four warmest occurring since 2010. At the hemispheric scale, while the Northern Hemisphere land areas were sixth warmest for that particular region of the globe, the Southern Hemisphere land was record warm for May, surpassing the previous highest May temperature (set in 2002) by 0.17°C (0.31°F).

The year to-date is now the fifth-warmest on record, with the average global temperature 1.19 degrees Fahrenheit above the 20th century norm for the January to May periodWith the exception of February, each monthly temperature in 2014 to date has ranked among the four highest for its respective month. Information compiled from the NOAA National Climatic Data Center, State of the Climate: Global Analysis for May 2014, published online June 2014, retrieved on June 24, 2014 from http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/global/2014/5.

 

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