Friday, June 17, 2016

NOAA and NASA:  Earth’s Warmest May on Record

Cumulative departures from normal in global temperature (year to date) for each month in 2016. For the year thus far (January-May), 2016 is head and shoulders above all other years in the NOAA database going back to 1895. The six closest competitors are shown above. (Image credit: NOAA/NCEI) Click to Enlarge.
The warming influence of the intense 2015 - 2016 El Niño event is waning, but May 2016 was still the planet's warmest May since record keeping began in 1880, said NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) on Thursday.  In the NOAA database, May 2016 came in 0.87°C (1.57°F) warmer than the 20th-century average for May, beating the previous record for May, set in 2015, by 0.02°C.  This is the smallest margin the monthly global temperature has broken a record by since August 2015.  NASA also reported the warmest May in its database, although the Japan Meteorological Agency placed May 2016 just a whisker (0.01°C) behind May 2015.  May 2016 marked the 13th consecutive month that the global monthly temperature record was broken--the longest such streak since global temperature records began in 1880.  Global ocean temperatures were the warmest on record for any May, but global land temperatures were the third warmest.  Global satellite-measured temperatures in May 2016 for the lowest 8 km of the atmosphere were the 2nd warmest for any May in the 38-year record, and the year-to-date period was the warmest on record, according to the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH). 

The impressive global warmth in recent months is due to the steady build-up of heat-trapping greenhouse gases due to human activities, plus a spike due to a large amount of heat being released from waters in the Eastern Pacific due to the powerful 2015-16 El Niño event.  This event peaked in December, and has NOAA’s global surface temperature for the year so far (January-May 2016) is a remarkable 0.24°C (0.43°F) warmer than the previous record, set in 2015.  Last month, NASA/GISS director Gavin Schmidt laid 99% odds on this year becoming the warmest in global records, which would make it Earth's third consecutive warmest year on record.

Read more at NOAA and NASA:  Earth’s Warmest May on Record

No comments:

Post a Comment