May 2012 Second Warmest on Record

After the fifth warmest April on record, the combined global land and ocean temperature for May 2012 was 0.66°C (1.19°F) above the 20thcentury average of 14.8°C (58.6°F), making it the 2nd warmest May on record (since 1880), only behind May 2010.

May 2012 Global Temperature Anomalies

May 2012 Global Temperature Anomalies • Click to watch Full-Earth animation

Much of the well above-average land temperatures were concentrated on Earth’s land areas, making the May’s global land area the warmest on record. Most areas of the world experienced much warmer-than-average monthly temperatures, including nearly all of Europe, Asia, northern Africa, most of North America and southern Greenland. Only Australia, Alaska and parts of the western U.S.-Canadian border region were notably cooler than average. Further, the Northern Hemisphere experienced its warmest combined land and ocean May temperature on record. Lastly, the combined global land and ocean average surface temperature for January–May 2012 was the 11th warmest on record.

Stay tuned for more May 2012 climate information in the coming days.

Helpful Resources for More Information

Dan Pisut, NOAA Environmental Visualization Lab
Patrick Rowley, Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies
NOAA National Climatic Data Center, State of the Climate: Global Analysis for May 2012, published online June 2012, retrieved on June 14, 2012 from
Category: Atmosphere
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  1. Pingback: May 2012 Climate Digest | EarthNow

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