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U.S. temperatures have been recorded since 1880, and last month's results were hotter than any May that preceded it.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on Monday issued a report stating that the land and ocean temperatures recorded in May 2014 combined to make it the hottest May in recorded history. The combined average was about 1.33 degrees higher than the 20th century average of 58.6 degrees.
While the previous record was set in 2010, four of the last five years have included the hottest May months in recorded history. May 2012 was the third warmest, followed by 1998 and 2013.
The global land surface temperature was 2.03 degrees above the 20th century average of 52 degrees, the fourth highest for May on record. For the ocean, the May global sea surface temperature was 1.06 degrees above the 20th century average of 61.3 degrees, making it the record highest for May and tying with June 1998, October 2003, and July 2009 as the highest departure from average for any month on record.
May 2014 marked the 39th consecutive May and 351st consecutive month (more than 29 years) with a global temperature above the 20th century average. The last below-average global temperature for May took place in 1976. The last below-average temperature for any month was February 1985.
The majority of scientists believe that man-made emissions are the largest contributor to warming. That belief led to a recent carbon emissions proposal from the Obama Administration. The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday issued a mixed ruling regarding greenhouse gas regulations, exempting some facilities from federal air regulations. However, the ruling has no impact on the emissions proposal presented earlier this month.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Dr. Brian R. Shmaefsky
One year after the Flint Water Crisis I was invited to participate in a water rights session at a conference hosted by the US Human Rights Network in Austin, Texas in 2015. The reason I was at the conference was to promote efforts by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) to encourage scientists to shine a light on how science intersects with human rights, in the U.S. as well as in the context of international development. My plan was to sit at an information booth and share my stories about water quality projects I spearheaded in communities in Bangladesh, Colombia, and the Philippines. I did not expect to be thrown into conversations that made me reexamine how scientists use their knowledge as a public good.
The shipping industry is coming to grips with its egregious carbon footprint, as it has an outsized contribution to greenhouse gas emissions and to the dumping of chemicals into open seas. Already, the global shipping industry contributes about 2 percent of global carbon emissions, about the same as Germany, as the BBC reported.
The Jefferson Memorial in Washington, DC overlooks the Tidal Basin, a man-made body of water surrounded by cherry trees. Visitors can stroll along the water's edge, gazing up at the stately monument.
But at high tide, people are forced off parts of the path. Twice a day, the Tidal Basin floods and water spills onto the walkway.