Weather 2014: Hottest weather ever recorded saw the Earth sizzle in May

Parts of Spain, Australia and Kazakhstan saw the mercury hitting higher levels than ever before

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The Independent Online

The Earth was hotter than ever before in May, with experts claiming temperatures will continue to rise.

Measuring at an average of 15.54 degrees Celsius, the Earth’s temperature was higher in May than it has even been since records began in 1880. Experts believe the rise was caused by exceptionally warm ocean water.

Parts of Kazakhstan, Indonesia, Spain, South Korea and central and north-western Australia experienced the hottest temperatures, according to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Temperatures during the first five months of 2014 smashed records in California by five degrees Celsius, but the remainder of the US failed to near its highest temperatures following a polar vortex earlier in the year.

Dr Kim Cobb, a climate scientist at Georgia Tech, said that it is likely that records will continue to be broken, particularly as experts predict an El Niño weather pattern is likely to combine with the effects of man-made global warming, the Telegraph reported.

El Niño occurs when waters on the Pacific equator are unusually warm, which can lead to disruptive changes in ocean and wind currents across the world.

Although ocean temperatures hit a record high in May, it is not classed as an El Nino event as the warm water has not yet changed the air temperature, the NOAA said.

Parts of the north eastern Atlantic, small sections of the north western and south eastern Pacific, and the ocean waters off the southern tip of South America were cooler than average.

The expected trend in warmer weather and broken records is likely to bolster climate change campaigners, particularly as May was 0.74 degrees Celsius warmed than the world average during the 20th century.

“[The high temperatures] should remind everyone that global warming is a long-term trend,” Princeton University climate scientist Michael Oppenheimer told the newspaper.