Climate change: Global temperatures in May hit an all-time record high
Latest data exposes the myth that global warming has 'stopped'
Steve Connor is the Science Editor of The Independent. He has won many awards for his journalism, including five-times winner of the prestigious British science writers’ award; the David Perlman Award of the American Geophysical Union; twice commended as specialist journalist of the year in the UK Press Awards; UK health journalist of the year and a special merit award of the European School of Oncology for his investigative journalism. He has a degree in zoology from the University of Oxford and has a special interest in genetics and medical science, human evolution and origins, climate change and the environment.
Tuesday 24 June 2014
Global temperatures - from Australia to Alaska - hit an all-time record high for the month of May, driven by exceptionally warm sea-surface temperatures according to the US's leading climate organisation.
The combined average temperatures for the land and ocean around the world was 0.74C higher than the 20th Century average of 14.8C for May, said the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
Although global land temperatures were the fourth highest for May, average temperatures across the oceans reached a record monthly high of 0.59C above the 20th Century average of 16.3C.
The temperature records show that May 2014 tied with June 1998, October 2003 and July 2009 as the highest departure from the century average for any month on record, NOAA said.
Exposing the myth that global warming has “stopped”, the latest temperature data show that it was also the second warmest March to May period, after 2010, in terms of land-surface temperatures and the third warmest in terms of global ocean surface temperatures, it said.
“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,” NOAA said.
“Additionally, May 2014 marked the 39th consecutive May and the 351st consecutive month (more than 29 years) with a global temperature above the 20th Century average,” it said.
“The last below-average global temperature for May occurred in 1976 and the last below-average temperature for any month occurred in February 1985,” it added.
Most of Europe experienced above-average temperatures during spring with some countries having one of their 10 warmest May months. Latvia and Norway both had the warmest spring temperatures on their respective records, while Britain experienced its third warmest spring, with Scotland breaking its March-May record.
NOAA found that the higher global May temperatures were spread fairly evenly between the northern and southern hemispheres, with the Northern Hemisphere having its second highest average spring temperature, behind 2010, and the Southern Hemisphere observing its fourth highest autumn temperatures.
Sea surface temperatures are rising in the South Pacific Ocean, indicating that there is a 70 per cent chance of an El Nino forming this summer, and an 80 per cent chance that it will be seen in winter, NOAA said.
El Nino, a sea-surface temperature anomaly, is a natural phenomenon that can cause weather disturbances around the world. It contributed to the high land surface temperatures seen in 1998.
Newcastle winger Jonas Gutierrez reveals he has testicular cancer - and is losing his trademark long hair as a result
Actors star in Woody Allen's 'Magic in the Moonlight'
Human faces unique 'because we don't recognise each other by smell'
Man's attempt to avoid being impounded heavily criticised
The banker who saved Britain
The ugliest animals on earth: Blobfish, axolotl and proboscis monkey battle it out to be named least attractive beast
Carbon dioxide accumulates as seas and forests struggle to absorb
Amazon tribal chief’s SOS: the white man is destroying everything
Campaigners lobby Duchess of Cornwall to persuade her son-in-law to cease Knebworth solar farm
- 1 Scottish independence: Ireland since 1919 is a lesson for Scotland in what a Yes vote means
- 2 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
- 3 Say yes to 'no-poo': It's been three years since I stopped washing my hair
- 4 Grandmas keep accidentally tagging themselves as Grandmaster Flash on Facebook
- 5 Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Scottish independence: Yes campaign feels the heat as Alex Salmond's NHS claims come under furious attack
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'
£45000 - £50000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client, a glob...
£20000 - £25000 Per Annum Plus excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Group: Head of Maths position at a prestigious ...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Huxley Associates are currentl...