2015 stays on pace to be Earth’s warmest year on record

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CHICAGO — The numbers are in for May and they continue to paint a warm picture for the globe.   It was the warmest May in the 136-year period of record with a global average temperature 1.57° above the 20th century average of 58.6°, beating the previous record set just one year ago by 0.14°. That makes this year the warmest-to-date in the last 136 years.

It was the 363rd consecutive month with a global average temperature above the 20th century average.

Here are some other highlights from NOAA’s report:

  • May 2015 ties with February 1998 as the fourth highest monthly departure from average for any month on record.
  • The two highest monthly departures from average occurred earlier this year in February and March, both at 1.60° above the 20th century average for their respective months.
  • Alaska observed its warmest May in its 91-year period of record. The temperature was 5.6° higher than the 1981–2010 average.
  • For the oceans, the May global sea surface temperature was 1.30° above the 20th century average of 61.3°, the highest for May on record, surpassing the previous record set last year by 0.13°.


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