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Last month was officially the warmest May on RECORD, with global temperatures 0.65°C above average – a climate of «constant concern» as scientists say


Last month was officially the hottest May on record since 1940, unveiled the EU’s climate change programme.

The global average temperature for May 2024 was 60.6 °F (15.91 °C), which is 0.34 °F (0.19 °C) above the previous warmest May in 2020.

Worryingly, it’s also 1.17°F (0.65°C) warmer than May’s 1991-2020 global average – and experts are citing greenhouse gas emissions as the cause.

May 2024 is also the 12th month in a row on record, with every month since June 2023 being the warmest month on record.

Dr Samantha Burgess, director of the Copernicus European Climate Change Service (C3S), said the climate is «a constant concern for us».

March 2024 was the warmest March on record globally with an average surface air temperature of 60.6 °F (15.91 °C)

Globally, May 2024 was the hottest May dating back to at least 1940, when records from the EU Department began.  A man is pictured sunbathing in Hastings, East Sussex, on May 9, 2024

Globally, May 2024 was the hottest May dating back to at least 1940, when records from the EU Department began. A man is pictured sunbathing in Hastings, East Sussex, on May 9, 2024

She pointed to global warming and El Nino – the unusual warming of surface waters in the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean.

«The past 12 months have broken records like never before – driven mainly by our greenhouse gas emissions and the additional strengthening of the El Niño event in the tropical Pacific,» Dr Burgess said.

“Until we reach net zero global emissions, the climate will continue to warm, continue to break records and continue to produce even more extreme weather events.

«If we choose to continue adding greenhouse gases to the atmosphere, 2023/4 will soon look like a cold year, much like 2015/6 looks now.»

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It follows confirmation from the Met Office that the UK had its warmest May and warmest spring on record, despite being «wet and dull».

However, this new figure from the EU is an average for the whole world and therefore gives a bigger picture of how the planet’s overall temperature is changing.

Experts say the past 12 months have

Experts say the past 12 months have «broken records like never before». A woman tries to cool down on a hot afternoon at Connaught Place in New Delhi, India, on May 12, 2024.

May 2024 is the 12th consecutive month on record, with every month since June 2023 being the warmest on record

May 2024 is the 12th consecutive month on record, with every month since June 2023 being the warmest month on record

Managed by the European Commission, C3S deals with temperature measurements based on a variety of platforms and instruments, from weather stations to weather balloons and satellites.

The separation values ​​refer to the average air temperature for the whole planet for the whole year – that is, lower than one typically «hot» temperature.

According to C3S, May 2024 was 2.73 °F (1.52 °C) above the estimated May average for the period 1850–1900, the pre-industrial reference period.

What’s more, the global average temperature for the last 12 months (June 2023 to May 2024) is now the highest on record.

The last 12 months were 1.35°F (0.75°C) above the average between 1991 and 2020 and 2.93°F (1.63°C) above the 1850 to 1900 pre-industrial average, the department said.

Looking at Europe separately from the rest of the world, last month’s temperatures were 1.58°F (0.88°C) above the 1991-2020 May average, making May 2024 the third warmest May in Europe.

A lady shields herself under an umbrella on a hot day in Chilla village as the temperature rises in Delhi-NCRon May 31, 2024 in New Delhi, India

A lady shields herself under an umbrella on a hot day in Chilla village as the temperature rises in Delhi-NCRon May 31, 2024 in New Delhi, India

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Women keep cool amid the hot weather at the Temple of Dawn, or Wat Arun, in Bangkok, Thailand, May 6, 2024

Women keep cool amid the hot weather at the Temple of Dawn, or Wat Arun, in Bangkok, Thailand, May 6, 2024

The Met Office said the UK had its warmest May and warmest spring on record, despite being

The Met Office said the UK had its warmest May and warmest spring on record, despite being «wet and dull». Members of the public enjoy the hot weather by a swimming pool in Hathersage, Derbyshire, England on May 10, 2024

CS3 said much of the Iberian Peninsula, southwestern Turkey and a large region across eastern Europe, including southern Scandinavia and the Baltic countries, were drier than average last month.

But May 2024 was wetter than average over much of Iceland, the UK and Ireland, central and most of south-eastern Europe, north of the Iberian Peninsula and western Russia.

Globally drier than average regions included the southwest and parts of the interior of the US and Canada, west of the Caspian Sea, across central Asia and southernmost China, regions of Australia, most of South America and southern Africa.

CS3 also revealed that the global average sea surface temperature (another metric that measures heat near the ocean’s surface) was 20.93°C last month, the highest on record for the month of May.

The summer of 2023 was the hottest in 2000 YEARS – and scientists say climate change is to blame

The summer of 2023 in the Northern Hemisphere was the warmest in 2,000 years, according to a new analysis by the University of Cambridge.

Since the beginning of the Roman Empire and the birth of Jesus Christ, mankind has not known warmer weather, according to the latest study.

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Overall, last summer on land was 2.2°C warmer than average temperatures in the years between 1 AD and 1890 AD, when the Industrial Revolution was in full swing and pumping massive amounts of climate-warming greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

It was also almost 4C warmer than the coldest summer in 536 AD – when an ash cloud from a volcanic eruption is thought to have caused temperatures to drop.

«If you look at the long history, you can see how dramatic recent global warming has been,» said co-author Professor Ulf Büntgen, from Cambridge’s Department of Geography.

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