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May 2018 was the world’s 'fourth-warmest' May on record

Apart from northeastern Canada and central Russia most regions saw record warmth last month.

May 2018 was the fourth-warmest May on record, according to NOAA's National Centre for Environmental Information. These findings were also confirmed by NASA.

"Fourth-warmest" may not seem like much of a headline, but the only warmer Mays were 2016, 2015 and 2017, in that order.

The combined average temperature over land and sea was 0.80 Celsius above the 20th century average of 14.8C.

May 2018 was the 42nd consecutive May, and the 401st consecutive month where temperatures were above this average.

Apart from northeastern Canada and central Russia, which were at least 3C below average, most regions saw record warmth.

North American temperatures were 1.74C above average.

Europe had its warmest May since continental records began in 1910. Temperatures were 2.76C above average, beating the previous record of +0.92C by a huge margin.

With a better-than-even chance that an El Nino will develop later in the year, there is every possibility that 2018 will rank among the top five warmest years on record. This year is expected to bump 2007 from the top 10 list of warmest years recorded. On that top 10 list, only the year 1998 comes from the prior two centuries, with the remaining nine entries all from 2005 or later.


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