NASA has released their estimate for global temperature this May of 2016. It came in at 0.93 °C, the hottest May on record, and the latest 12-month running mean is also the hottest on record:
The year-so-far average global temperature is a whopping 1.15 °C, well above the hottest full calendar year we’ve yet seen, 2015’s record-breaking 0.86 °C.
Despite breaking the month-of-May record and the 12-month record and the year-so-far being so much hotter than any previous full calendar year, May was cooler (anomaly-wise) than the prior seven months:
It seems that the extreme warming influence of the recent el Niño is subsiding. We may even enter la Niña conditions, with its resultant temperature cooling. This leads one to wonder: when 2016 draws to a close, will it have broken the 2015 record warmth for a calendar year?
To do so, global temperature will have to average 0.653 or higher during the remaining 7 months of the year. I estimate that the trend value is presently 0.798 °C, so if global temperature is on trend for the remainder of the year then yes, we’ll set a new record. But if a strong la Niña ensues, we could see temperatures well below the trend value. Hence it’s possible that the rest of the year will be cool enough that 2016 won’t break the record.
I would say it’s likely that 2016 will set a new record, but by no means a sure thing. Record-breaker or no, what matters is the trend; there’s no doubt that’s still upward, and no doubt that spells trouble for those of us who live here on planet Earth.
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