Near-record warmth for May 2023
May 2023 was the third warmest May on record globally for land/ocean surface combined, according to NOAA.
This is the 47th consecutive May and 531st consecutive month where the global average temperature was above the 20th-century average.
May 2023 averaged 0.97 of a degree Celsius above the 20th-century average.
Last month was also the second month in a row where the global ocean surface temperatures set a record high. El Niño was officially declared earlier this week, and with a strengthening El Niño into the winter, there will be an increased chance for additional record high sea surface temperatures.
Both North and South America experienced their warmest May on record last month.
By the way, Antarctica was an exception to all this warmth, as May 2023 ended up slightly cooler compared to normal.
A few more tidbits, the global sea ice extent for May 2023 was the second lowest on record for May. Records go back to 1979. North America had its smallest May snow cover on record, which may partly explain the rapid start to the fire season in Canada.
The January to May 2023 period is currently the fourth such period on record. It is virtually certain that 2023 will rank in the top 10 warmest years on record and very likely it will rank in the top five. With a strengthening El Niño, it has a shot at the top three in my opinion. Based on past experiences with El Niño, I predict that 2024 will end up even warmer than 2023 for global average surface temperature.Report a Typo