NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Community News Network

June 18, 2014

May 2014 was the hottest may in recorded history

According to new data released this week, May 2014 is officially the warmest May in recorded history.

Both NASA and the Japan Meteorological Agency have tentatively ranked May at the top of historical measurements, though NASA's numbers are preliminary because crucial information is still missing from China.

Gavin Schmidt, the director of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, which maintains NASA's global temperature database, explained the Chinese data glitch.

Still, the fact that NASA and the Japan used different calculation methods to arrive at similar results is telling. Another agency, National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, will release its estimate of May global temperatures next week using a third method.

The exceptionally warm month was egged on by a building El Nino in the tropical Pacific. Europe, Central Asia, Russia, Japan, Australia, Southern Africa, Brazil, Eastern Canada and Western North America (so, basically everywhere) were warmer than normal last month. Besides shifting weather patterns worldwide, that extra El Nino-fueled ocean warmth is supercharging the Earth's temperature, which could help make 2014 the warmest year since human records have been kept, and probably for much longer. El Nino's effects should peak between October and December and will likely continue into early 2015.

NASA uses a baseline set from 1951-1980 to determine how much a month's temperature deviates from normal. The agency's preliminary numbers show the combined global land and ocean temperature during May deviated from that baseline by about three-quarters of a degree Celsius, the most of any May since accurate records began in 1880. The 0.76 degree Celsius anomaly is tied for the sixth-largest anomaly for any month since 1880. All 10 of the biggest monthly temperature anomalies on record have occurred since 1995, according to NASA:

January 2007: 0.93

March 2002: 0.89

March 2010: 0.87

February 1998: 0.86

April 2010: 0.82

October 2005: 0.76

May 2014: 0.76*

February 1995: 0.75

June 1998: 0.75

November 2013: 0.75

*Preliminary

In April, monthly concentrations of carbon dioxide reached 400 parts per million for the first time in at least 800,000 years. On our current path of minimal attention, scientists say warming could exceed 4.5 degrees Celsius by 2100 - which would have devastating effects.

               

      

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Community News Network

Offbeat
NDN Video
Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot Samsung Pre-Trolls The IPhone 6 With New Ad Jimmy Kimmel Introduces His Baby Girl Swim Daily, Nina Agdal in the Cook Islands Guilty Dog Apologizes to Baby for Stealing Her Toy Prince George Turns 1 and is Already a Trendsetter Train Collides With Semi Truck Carrying Lighter Fluid Kanye West Tells-All on Wedding in "GQ" Interview Tony Dungy Weighs in on Michael Sam Scarlett Johansson Set To Marry In August New Star Wars Episode XII X-Wing Revealed Obama: Putin must push separatists to aid MH17 probe Michigan inmates no longer allowed to wear orange due to 'OITNB' Adam Levine Ties the Knot Sebastian The Ibis Walks Beautiful Bride Down The Aisle | ACC Must See Moment NASA Ceremony Honors Moon Walker Neil Armstrong Faces of Souls Lost in Malaysian Plane Crash 105-year-old woman throws first pitch Man Creates Spreadsheet of Wife's Reasons for Turning Down Sex 'Weird Al' Is Wowed by Album's Success
Special Features
NRA Waterfront Plans