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article imageGlobal temperatures in May 10th warmest on record

By Lynn Herrmann     Jun 19, 2011 in Environment
Washington - The planet’s warming trend continued in May, with records showing combined global land and ocean surface temperature almost one degree warmer than the 20th century average, making it the 10th warmest May on record.
Figures provided by the US government’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for May reveal combined land and ocean surface temperatures were 0.90º F above last century’s average of 58.6º F, making it the tenth warmest May since record keeping began in 1880.
The new figures also show Arctic sea ice extent was 5.96 percent below average, making it the third smallest for May on record since satellites began recording such data in 1979.
In May, Northern Hemisphere snow cover extent was far below average and ranks as the third smallest on record. North America’s snow cover extent was slightly below average while the Eurasian snow cover extent was much-below average, making May’s snow cover for that region the second smallest on record.
Global surface temperature anomaly map for May 2011.
Global surface temperature anomaly map for May 2011.
Map courtesy NOAA
Earlier in June, extreme heat from Texas through the Midwest and over into the Northeast set or tied record high temperatures. If accurate, scientists say the sweltering heat will become the norm by 2050.
A new study by scientists Noah Diffenbaugh and Martin Scherer concluded that by the middle of the century, unprecedented summertime heat could become a permanent part of our lives.
The scientists noted our coolest summers will be hotter than even the hottest of the 20th century.
Global warming is linked to extreme weather events, which are likely to continue as well. From killer tornadoes to ravaging wildfires to unprecedented flooding to unprecedented drought, the planet’s extreme weather and climate events continue breaking long-standing records and in many instances are ‘worst such cases’ in history, NOAA notes.
Although records show such extremes have previously occurred in modern American history, they have never occurred during a single month period.
More about Extreme, extreme weather event, on record, extreme heat, Sea ice
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