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2nd warmest May (by a fraction), 2nd warmest spring on record, despite no El Nino

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May Continues a Ridiculous Warm Streak for the Planet

By Brian Kahn  June 15th, 2017  Climate Central

Another month is in the global temperature record books. While May just missed setting a record, the data is another reminder that climate change is making the world hotter and pushing it into a new state.

This May was the second-warmest May on record, according to NASA data released on Thursday. The planet was 1.6°F (0.88°C) warmer than normal last month, trailing 2016 by just a 10th of a degree.

…With May in the record books, NASA data also shows that this was the second-warmest spring on record, again trailing only 2016. NASA climate researcher Gavin Schmidt said the first five months of the year make it likely that this will be the second-hottest year on record trailing only, you guessed it, 2016.

Last year’s record heat got a boost from El Niño. The absence of El Niño this year in some ways makes the planetary heat even more shocking, though it certainly fits a pattern.

After all, May marked an all-time monthly peak for carbon dioxide levels in what’s become an annual rite of passage. Scientists found that carbon dioxide at Mauna Loa Observatory, the marquee measuring station, reached 409.65 parts per million (ppm) last month. That coupled with the second-hottest May on record are major markers of the current state of the world’s climate.

This May was the second-hottest May on record. Credit: NASA GISS

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