Temperature data for May 2014 are in from two leading trackers of global temperatures, and preliminary results from both organizations show May 2014 as the warmest May on record. NASA data show that May 2014 had an average global temperature that was 1.38 degrees Fahrenheit above the long-term average. The Japanese Meteorological Agency’s separate analysis also found both May and the meteorological spring months of March, April and May to be the warmest on record. Some climate sites are already saying that 2014 has the potential to become the hottest year on record, if the trend from the first five months continues.
Later this week, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is expected to release its global numbers. They typically match the others, but we’ll see.
The El Niño that now seems to be developing in the Pacific likely will boost global average temperatures further, if it develops fully.
Bottom line: Two leading trackers of global temperatures – NASA and the Japanese Meteorological Agency – say that May 2014 was the warmest May on record. NOAA is expected to release its data for May later this week.
Deborah Byrd created the EarthSky radio series in 1991 and founded EarthSky.org in 1994. Today, she serves as Editor-in-Chief of this website. She has won a galaxy of awards from the broadcasting and science communities, including having an asteroid named 3505 Byrd in her honor. A science communicator and educator since 1976, Byrd believes in science as a force for good in the world and a vital tool for the 21st century. "Being an EarthSky editor is like hosting a big global party for cool nature-lovers," she says.