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Science and Environment

Earth breaks heat record again, but not by as much as before

Seth Borenstein - Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Federal scientists say Earth sizzled to its 13th straight month of record heat in May, but it wasn't quite as much of an over-the-top scorcher as previous months.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says May's global average temperature was 60.17 degrees Fahrenheit (15.65 degrees Celsius). That's 1.57 degrees (.87 degrees Celsius) above the 20th-century average, besting the old May record by .04 degrees.

It's the first time since November that a month wasn't a full degree Celsius (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit) hotter than the 20th-century average.

So far, 2016 is averaging 55.5 degrees (13.06 degrees Celsius), which beats the previous January to May record set last year by 0.43 degrees.

NOAA climate monitoring chief Deke Arndt blames the record heat on both man-made climate change and El Nino.
 

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