Average global temperatures climbed to the second highest for May on record since 1880, according to U.S. National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) records. Much of the world, including most of North America, all of Europe, Asia, northern Africa, and southern Greenland experienced above average May temperatures. In fact, last month wrapped up the warmest spring on record for the continental U.S., NOAA records show. The global May record included the combined global land and ocean average surface temperatures for the month, which 1.19 degrees Fahrenheit (0.66 degrees Celsius) above the 20th-century average of 58.5 F (14.8 C). This record was beat only in 2010, when the global average was 1.24 F (0.69 C) above the 20th-century average. The Northern Hemisphere saw its warmest May on record — 1.53 F, or 0.85 C above average — while the Southern Hemisphere’s May ranked ninth warmest among all Mays on record, at 0.85 F (0.47 C) above average. Only Australia, Alaska and parts of the western U.S.-Canadian border were notably cooler than average. Alaska had one of its snowiest winters on record in 2012. The rest of the U.S. had one of the mildest winters on record in 2012. According to NOAA’s State of Climate report issued in 2010, the first decade of this century has been the warmest on record.
Photo Credit: John Vlahakis