Global Temperature Trend Update: May 2012

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Every month University of Alabama in Huntsville climatologists John Christy and Roy Spencer report the latest global temperature trends from satellite data. Below are the newest data updated through May, 2012. 

Global Temperature Trend

Global Temperature Report: May 2012

Global climate trend since Nov. 16, 1978: +0.14 C per decade

May temperatures (preliminary)

Global composite temp.: +0.29 C (about 0.52 degrees Fahrenheit) above 30-year average for May.

Northern Hemisphere: +0.44 C (about 0.79 degrees Fahrenheit) above 30-year average for May.

Southern Hemisphere: +0.14 C (about 0.25 degrees Fahrenheit) above 30-year average for May.

Tropics: +0.03 C (about 0.05 degrees Fahrenheit) above 30-year average for May.

April temperatures (revised):

Global Composite: +0.30 C above 30-year average

Northern Hemisphere: +0.41 C above 30-year average

Southern Hemisphere: +0.19 C above 30-year average

Tropics: -0.12 C below 30-year average

(All temperature anomalies are based on a 30-year average (1981-2010) for the month reported.)

Notes on data released June 4, 2012:

Compared to global seasonal norms, May 2012 was the fourth warmest in the 34-year satellite record, according to Dr. John Christy, a professor of atmospheric science and director of the Earth System Science Center at The University of Alabama in Huntsville. It was the third warmest May in the Northern Hemisphere, and tied as the warmest May over NH land masses, with an average temperature that was 0.68 C (about 1.22 degrees F) warmer than normal for the month. It was 0.95 C (about 1.71 degrees F) warmer than normal over the contiguous 48 states, which made it the fourth warmest May there since 1979.

Compared to seasonal norms, the "warmest" place on Earth in May was along the eastern coast of Russian near the Sea of Okhotsk. Temperatures there averaged as much as 4.29 C (about 7.72 degrees F) warmer than seasonal norms. The coolest spot was in the Gulf of Alaska west of Juneau, where temperatures for the month averaged 2.38 C (about 4.28 degrees F) cooler than May norms.

Go here to see the full satellite dataset.