GREEN

Last Month Was The Hottest May In Recorded History

06/18/2015 01:53 pm ET | Updated Jun 22, 2015
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The same day the Pope released his highly anticipated encyclical on climate change, U.S. authorities announced that last month was the hottest May ever recorded.

New atmospheric data revealed the record-breaking temperatures, and scientists found more evidence that global temperatures continue creeping upwards.

"The globally averaged temperature over land and ocean surfaces for May 2015 was the highest for the month of May since record keeping began in 1880," the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Thursday in a release with its latest temperature data.

NOAA's report came out on the same day that Pope Francis released a highly anticipated encyclical on climate change, and told Catholics that the earth "is beginning to look more and more like an immense pile of filth."

The global average temperature for May was 60.17 degrees Fahrenheit, surpassing the record set last year for the month by 0.14 degrees, according to NOAA. That's also 1.57 degrees above the average 20th century temperature for the month.

“The atmosphere is very, very clearly warming,” NOAA administrator Kathryn Sullivan told Bloomberg.

The third and fourth hottest Mays were recorded in 2010 and 2012, respectively.

The report included other data showing that last month was part of an overall trend of rising thermometer readings.

March through May 2015 was also a record high for that time of year, with global surfaces measured at 0.07 degrees Fahrenheit hotter than the record set in 2010 and 1.53 degrees Fahrenheit above the 20th century average. The January through May period also broke records, surpassing the 2010 record by 0.16 degrees Fahrenheit and the 20th century average by 1.53 degrees Fahrenheit.

Those numbers put 2015 on track to surpassing 2014 as the hottest year on record.

This has already been a banner year for extreme weather events: 120 degree temperatures in India last month claimed more than 2,300 lives and marked the fifth deadliest heatwave in recorded history, Texas experienced unprecedented catastrophic flooding in what may be a grim preview of things to come and California is closing in on entering a fifth year of relentless drought.

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