June 23, 2009
Analysis: May was 4th warmest on record
A U.S. analysis shows combined average global land and ocean surface temperatures during May made it the fourth warmest since record keeping began in 1880.
The analysis -- conducted by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Climatic Data Center in Asheville, N.C. -- shows the May 2009 combined global land and ocean surface temperature was 0.95 degrees Fahrenheit above the 20th century average of 58.6 degrees Fahrenheit.
The global land surface temperature was 1.19 degrees Fahrenheit above the 20th century average of 52 degrees, making it the eighth warmest May on record in that category.
Based on NOAA satellite observations, Northern Hemisphere snow cover last month was the seventh lowest for May during the 1967-2009 period. The Northern Hemisphere snow cover extent was 0.73 million square miles below the 1967-2009 average of 7.8 million square miles.
Scientist said the analysis is based on preliminary data, which are subject to revision.