The agency, which supports European climate policy, found that May was 0.63 degrees Celsius warmer “than the average May from 1981-2010.” The agency also found that the last year was “close to 0.7 degrees [Celsius] warmer than average.”
The temperatures highest above average were recorded over portions of Siberia, Alaska and Antarctica. The researchers also found that sea ice coverage was below average in the Arctic and Antarctic last month, and that the UK, northern France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg were drier than average. Large parts of Europe also experienced drier-than-average conditions in May.
“The last month has been the warmest May on record globally, and this is unquestionably an alarming sign,” said Freja Vamborg, a scientist at the intergovernmental agency, CNBC reported.
“Even more concerning is the fact that average temperatures of the last 12 months have become one of the hottest 12-month periods ever recorded in our data set,” she added.
In February, the agency revealed that 2019 was the second hottest year on record. Global average temperatures in 2019 were 1 degree Fahrenheit higher than the average between 1981 and 2010; only 2016 was hotter than 2019 globally, by less than one-tenth of a degree Farenheit. Europe, however, experienced its warmest year ever in 2019.
In its March 2020 Global Climate Report, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration noted that 2020 has a good chance of being the hottest year on record.