Our climate is changing rapidly, and May 2016 just managed to beat global temperature records yet again. In other words, Earth was warmer in May 2016 than any other May – making it the 13th consecutive record-breaking month. The heat, as NASA puts it, has been especially pronounced in the Arctic and because of that there is a very early onset of the annual melting of Arctic sea ice and the Greenland ice sheet. According to reports released by NASA, May was 0.93°C (1.67°F) warmer than the 1951 to 1980 average for the month. The report comes following February and March set consecutive records for the most anomalously warm month. Now, experts are saying 2016 has a 99 percent chance of becoming the hottest year on record.
The strong El Niño – which has now dissipated – may have been the spark for the current global temperature surge. But, meteorologists say the underlying cause of global warming is due to increased concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, caused by human emissions; and the recent El Niño event seemed to have given this year an extra boost. “The state of the climate so far this year gives us much cause for alarm,” said David Carlson, Director of the World Climate Research Programme, in a statement at WMO. “Exceptionally high temperatures. Ice melt rates in March and May that we don’t normally see until July. Once-in-a-generation rainfall events. The super El Niño is only partly to blame. Abnormal is the new normal.”