May 2017 Was 2nd Warmest May On Record, Behind Only May 2016

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May 2017 was the second warmest (or hottest) May on record — in terms of global average surface temperatures. It was only a tenth of a degree behind the current record holder, May 2016.

Overall, global average temperatures during May 2017 were about 1.6° Fahrenheit higher than normal — “normal” being the 1951–1980 baseline. This is based on newly released data from NASA.

As one can see in the image above, higher than normal temperatures encompassed much of the globe — with particularly abnormal temperatures being observed in some parts of Antarctica, Northern Africa, and Western Europe.

Some parts of Antarctica actually saw temperatures some 13.8° Fahrenheit (7.1° Celsius) higher than normal — a sign of the fact that there are parts of Antarctica that are likely far less stable than previously assumed, as we have reported numerous times in recent months and years.

Climate Central provides more: “With May in the record books, NASA data also shows that this was the second-warmest spring on record, again trailing only 2016. NASA climate researcher Gavin Schmidt said the first five months of the year make it likely that this will be the second-hottest year on record trailing only, you guessed it, 2016.

“Last year’s record heat got a boost from El Niño. The absence of El Niño this year in some ways makes the planetary heat even more shocking, though it certainly fits a pattern.

“After all, May marked an all-time monthly peak for carbon dioxide levels in what’s become an annual rite of passage. Scientists found that carbon dioxide at Mauna Loa Observatory, the marquee measuring station, reached 409.65 parts per million (ppm) last month. That coupled with the second-hottest May on record are major markers of the current state of the world’s climate.”

So, again, to reiterate what’s going on here — the pace of change continued to accelerate (temperatures during May 2017 and 2016 were essentially equal despite the lack of an El Niño this year) despite the fact that official emissions figures are supposedly flat.

Where does this lead? What do the rapidly increasing temperatures observed in the Arctic and parts of the Antarctic region lead to? Large changes are now essentially upon us, and yet …. business as usual continues, with the only thing to show for it seemingly being an increase in scapegoating, delusional/utopian thinking, and projection. Maybe someone should take out a Super Bowl ad?

Related Stories:

Climate Central: Millennials Have Never Experienced A Cooler Than Average Month — And Probably Never Will

2 Critical Climate Change Problems Most People Don’t Know About

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James Ayre

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.

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