According to NASA, May 2016 is the hottest May on record, making it the eighth month in a row to break the monthly temperature record. Despite one of the strongest El Niños ever recorded finally on the decline, the planet continues to warm at an alarming rate. The latest figures that were released by NASA now make it even more certain that 2016 will also become the hottest year on record, a record that was only set last year.
NASA recently found that May 2016 was 0.93°C (1.67°F) warmer than the 1951 to 1980 average, which is actually the first month since October of last year that the monthly average was not a full 1°C (1.6°F) warmer than the baseline. This statistic may sound like things are getting better, but they really aren’t and the arctic is experiencing the worst of it. Sea ice in the Arctic has fallen to a record low for the month of May, provoking thoughts that this year will break the 2012 record of the worst ever summer ice melt.
“The state of the climate so far this year gives us much cause for alarm. The super El Niño is only partly to blame. Abnormal is the new normal,” stated the Director of Geneva’s World Climate Research Programme.
While the average global temperature is currently sitting around 1°C (1.6°F) hotter, the far North is warming at an extremely fast rate that threatens environment that currently exists in these areas. Alaska experienced temperatures that were 10°C (16°F) above average throughout the winter months, while Finland experienced average May temperatures that were between 3 and 4°C (5.4 and 7.2°F) warmer. These extreme temperatures are affecting wildlife, for example, polar bears are already spending more and more time on land, and coming into increased contact with their brown bear cousins. The exact cause of these extreme temperatures isn’t known currently, but its going to be a rough road ahead if they persist.