Yes, another "hottest" on record - this time for May 2016. According to GISS NASA, the average for May was 0.93 °C, which is 0.07 °C above the previous hottest May, in 2014. Last month is the first time in seven months that the GISTemp monthly anomaly is less than one degree Celsius above the average from 1951-1980. This month the anomaly is the ninth highest for any month, lower than all anomalies from October last year, and lower than that for January 2007.
The average for the five months to the end of May is 1.15 °C, which is 0.29 °C higher than any previous January to May period. The previous highest was last year, which with the latest data had an anomaly of 0.86 °C.
There are now eight in a row of "hottest months" from October 2015 to May 2016 (that is, hottest October, hottest November etc). If we could look back over the entire Holocene, it's probably more than 7,000 years since there was a similar run of hottest months on record, that is, not since the Holocene climatic optimum (it's probably hotter now than it was back then).
All of the previous months (October to April inclusive) had an anomaly more than one degree Celsius above the 1951-1980 mean. All of the previous months had an anomaly higher than any month outside of that October to April period. May this year had an anomaly of 0.93 °C, which is lower than the anomaly in January 2007 (0.96 °C.)
Below is a chart of the month of May only. Hover over the chart to see the anomaly in any May:
El Niño no more
You can see the global mean temperature trend by month in the chart below, for recent El Niño years:
|Figure 2 | Global mean surface temperature for El Nino years. Data source: GISS NASA|
|Figure 3 | Global mean surface temperature for strong or moderate/strong El Nino years that were followed by a La Nina. Data source: GISS NASA|
Where was it hot?
Once again the high latitudes in the northern hemisphere had high anomalies this month but not as high as last month. There's also some parts of Antarctica that were very, very hot (well, it's still rather cold down there, but much hotter than the 1951-1980 average).
|Figure 4 | Map showing mean surface temperature, anomalies for May, from the 1951-1980 mean. Source: GISS NASA|
Below is April for comparison:
|Figure 5 | Map showing mean surface temperature, anomalies for April, from the 1951-1980 mean. Source: GISS NASA|
Year to date average surface temperature
The chart below tracks the year to date. Each point on the plot is the average of the year to that month. For 2016, the last point is the average of all months to date including May. This year is tracking well above 2015, largely because of the El Niño. To drop below the average for 2015, the average anomaly for the next
|Figure 5 | Global mean surface temperature, progressive year to date to May 2016. Data source. GISS NASA|
Related HotWhopper articles
- El Niño to La Niña years - May 2016 with more detail here
- Seven in a row: April is the hottest April on record, a 7000 year record? - May 2016
- Hottest March on record, tracking El Niño, and a year to date comparison - April 2016
- Hottest February by far at a whopping 1.35 C above the 1951-1980 mean - March 2016
- Hottest January on record, with El Niño years comparison - February 2016