Last Month Was the Hottest May on Record

(Bloomberg) -- Last month was the warmest May on record, with some parts of Siberia, Alaska and Antarctica registering unusually high temperatures, according to the Copernicus Climate Change Service. 

Global temperatures were 0.63 degrees Celsius (1.1 degree Fahrenheit) higher than average, according to the European agency’s monthly report. The 12-month period ending in May matched the warmest year on record and was almost 0.7 degrees Celsius hotter than normal. 

Copernicus scientists already warned last month that warm spring weather in Siberia was rekindling “zombie fires” still simmering from last year. On Thursday, a massive fuel spill in Siberia prompted Russia to declare a state of emergency. Scientists have warned for more than a decade that thawing of the once permanently-frozen ground covering more than half of Russia is threatening the stability of buildings and pipelines. 

Temperatures for every month this year have been higher than the average, with 2019 and last winter the hottest ever in Europe, according to Copernicus data. By contrast, May was slightly colder than the average overall in Europe. Southwestern and northeastern Europe were hotter than average, while the region extending from Scandinavia to the Balkans and the northern coast of the Black Sea registered lower temperatures. 

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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