Month of May 2014 Warmest May on Record

24 06 2014
 May 2014 the warmest May on record according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) of the US.

Data released on 23 June 2014 by NOAA shows that May’s global temperature anomaly – the variance with the long term average for the 20th century – was +0.74oC.

This follows NASA’s announcement last week that May 2014 was the warmest May in its records. NASA reported a temperature anomaly (or variance from the long term 1951-1980 mean temperature for May) of +0.76oC.

Satellite measurements of the average temperature of the global troposphere also indicated a warm month. The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) reported that May 2014 was the third warmest May in its satellite record which dates back to 1978.

NOAA, NASA and UAH all show a sharp rise in the global temperature anomaly this year although UAH has lagged. The numbers are not exactly comparable because each data set uses a different baseline period to generate an average against which the variance (or anomaly) for the month is calculated. NOAA uses the average over the period from 1901 to 2000, NASA uses the period 1951 to 1980 and UAH averages over 1981 to 2010.

The NOAA May anomaly compares with an April figure of +0.77oC, which tied with April 2010 as the warmest April on record, and March’s +0.72oC – the fourth warmest March in the NOAA record and the warmest since 2010.

The NASA May anomaly is above its April figure of 0.73oC, the second warmest April in the NASA record after 2010, and March’s 0.71oC,which was the third warmest March in the NASA record after 2010 and 2002.

The UAH May 2014 anomaly of +0.33oC is up on April 2013 figure of +0.19oC and the March 2014 anomaly of +0.11oC.

The expectation is that anomaly for May reported the UK Meteorological Office, when it is announced, will be consistent with the NASA and NOAA data.

Remote Sensing Systems (RSS) also reported an increased anomaly in May for the global troposphere although this data set tends to be slightly cooler than the others.

If the current levels of anomalies are maintained for the rest of the year then there is a good chance that 2014 could well turn out to be one of the warmest years on record although this may turn on the strength of the developing El Nino in the Pacific Ocean which can have a dramatic impact on global surface temperatures.

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