Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

May Shatters Yet Another Monthly Heat Record as CO2 Levels Soar

Climate
May Shatters Yet Another Monthly Heat Record as CO2 Levels Soar

May shattered yet another monthly heat record, according to new data from NASA. While May was 0.93 C above the 1951-1980 average for the month, it was actually the first month since October to be less than 1 C warmer than average. Despite an abating El Niño, scientists still expect 2016 to be the warmest year ever recorded, breaking the record set just last year.

Photo credit: NASA

Carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere are also forecast to shatter a “symbolic barrier” this year, jumping a record 3.1 parts per million (ppm) and permanently passing 400 ppm. El Niño has played a big role in the recent surge in CO2 levels, the scientists say, reducing plants’ ability to sequester carbon dioxide.

"We won’t be looking at below 400 ppm in our lifetimes,” said Richard Betts, an author of the study and scientist at the UK Met Office.

Concentrations must be kept below 450ppm to keep global warming below 2 C. Photo credit: NASA

For a deeper dive:

NewsThe Guardian, Washington Post, MashableClimate Home, Climate Central, APPhys.org, BBC

Background: Climate Signals

For more climate change and clean energy news, you can follow Climate Nexus on Twitter and Facebook, and sign up for daily Hot News.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

Noam Chomsky: The Doomsday Clock Is Nearing Midnight

New Website Helps Connect the Dots Between Extreme Weather Events and Climate Change

Alaska Is Having Hottest Year Since Records Began

Arctic, Greenland Stuck in Feedback Loop of Melting

Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the UN and chair of the Global Center on Adaptation, is seen speaking during a press briefing on the upcoming Climate Adaptation Summit 2021 to be held Jan. 25 and 26. Sem van der Wal / ANP / AFP/ Getty Images

Political leaders from around the world appeared online for the first Climate Adaptation Summit on Monday aimed at preparing the planet for the effects of the climate crisis.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Milkyway from Segara Anak - Rinjani Mountain. Abdul Azis / Moment / Getty Images

By Dirk Lorenzen

2021 begins as a year of Mars. Although our red planetary neighbor isn't as prominent as it was last autumn, it is still noticeable with its characteristic reddish color in the evening sky until the end of April. In early March, Mars shines close to the star cluster Pleiades in the constellation Taurus.

Read More Show Less

Trending

By Michael Svoboda, Ph.D.

Despite a journey to this moment even more treacherous than expected, Americans now have a fresh opportunity to act, decisively, on climate change.

The authors of the many new books released in just the past few months (or scheduled to be published soon) seem to have anticipated this pivotal moment.

Read More Show Less
Marsh Creek in north-central California is the site of restoration project that will increase residents' access to their river. Amy Merrill

By Katy Neusteter

The Biden-Harris transition team identified COVID-19, economic recovery, racial equity and climate change as its top priorities. Rivers are the through-line linking all of them. The fact is, healthy rivers can no longer be separated into the "nice-to-have" column of environmental progress. Rivers and streams provide more than 60 percent of our drinking water — and a clear path toward public health, a strong economy, a more just society and greater resilience to the impacts of the climate crisis.

Read More Show Less
A Brood X cicada in 2004. Pmjacoby / CC BY-SA 3.0

Fifteen states are in for an unusually noisy spring.

Read More Show Less