Earth just had its 4th-warmest May

Map showing temperature anomalies during the month of May 2018.
Temperature anomalies in degrees Celsius for May 2018. Credit: NASA/GISS.

May was the fourth-warmest such month on record, according to NASA, NOAA and the Japan Meteorological Agency. In addition, NASA found that spring in the Northern Hemisphere was the third-warmest such period on record, since instrument records began in 1880.

Why this matters: The monthly temperature data is another piece in the broader picture of a changing climate, with month after month, and year after year, showing an increasing trend. Using NOAA's data, May was the 401st straight month to be warmer-than-average globally.