Global Temperature Report: May 2016

Watts Up With That?

May 2016 was 2nd warmest May in satellite record

MAY 2016 map

When is an anomaly just an anomaly and not necessarily part of a larger trend? Perhaps, when the anomaly is a significant outlier that can be linked to a specific cause.
May 2016 was the second warmest May in the satellite temperature record, trailing only May 1998 by 0.11 C, according to Dr. John Christy, director of the Earth System Science Center at The University of Alabama in Huntsville. Compared to seasonal norms, May 2016 was the 8th warmest month overall since the satellite temperature dataset began in December 1978.

The 16 warmest months (and 21 of the warmest 25) on the record, however, all happened during one of three El Niño Pacific Ocean warming events (1997-98, 2009-10 and 2015-16). The effect is especially noticeable when comparing temperatures from a specific month. In the May data, three El Niño Mays are…

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