Friday, June 19, 2015

Earth Has Its Warmest May and Warmest Year-to-Date Period on Record

Land & Ocean Temperature Percentiles May 2015 (Credit: NOAA) Click to Enlarge.
May 2015 was Earth's warmest May since global record keeping began in 1880, said NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) on Thursday. NASA rated May 2015 as the 2nd warmest May on record.  May 2015's warmth makes the year-to-date period (January - May) the warmest such period on record, according to both NOAA and NASA, and it is likely that 2015 will be Earth's second consecutive warmest year on record.  Five of the ten warmest months in recorded history have occurred in the past six months, according to NOAA

NOAA's top ten warmest global monthly departures from average
1) 0.89°C, Mar 2015
1) 0.89°C, Feb 2015
3) 0.88°C, Jan 2007
4) 0.87°C, May 2015
4) 0.87°C, Feb 1998 
6) 0.84°C, Dec 2014
6) 0.84°C, Mar 2010
8) 0.83°C, Nov 2013
9) 0.82°C, Apr 2010
10) 0.81°C, Jan 2015

Global ocean temperatures during May 2015 were the warmest on record, and global land temperatures were tied for warmest on record.  Global satellite-measured temperatures in May 2015 for the lowest 8 km of the atmosphere were the 5th or 4th warmest in the 37-year record, according to the University of Alabama Huntsville (UAH) and Remote Sensing Systems, respectively. 

Deadliest weather disaster of May 2015: India's brutal heat wave
The deadliest weather-related disaster of May 2015 was an intense heat wave in India that killed approximately 2,500 people.  According to statistics from EM-DAT, the International Disaster Database, the 2015 heat wave in India was their second deadliest heat wave and Earth's fifth deadliest heat wave ever recorded; the heat wave was also the planet's 11th deadliest weather-related disaster since 2000.  Note that heat waves and droughts hold three of the top five spots on the list of deadliest disasters since 2000, suggesting that society is not prepared for the increase in the intensity of heat waves and droughts that is already occurring due to a warming climate:
Three billion-dollar weather-related disasters hit the Earth last month, according to the May 2015 Catastrophe Report from insurance broker Aon Benfield: a severe weather outbreak and flooding on May 23 - 28 in the Central U.S. that caused at least $1 billion in damage; flooding in China that caused $1.15 billion in damage; and the on-going drought in California and neighboring states that now has a price tag of at least $3 billion. 

Read more at Earth Has Its Warmest May and Warmest Year-to-Date Period on Record

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