May was the 13th month in a row to set a record high for monthly temperatures. Earlier, February and March set consecutive records for breaking their monthly averages by the largest margins, according to data from the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA).
May was 0.93C warmer than its 20th-century average, while this February was 1.04C and March 1.07C hotter than their respective averages, setting the current record for the greatest margin of warming seen for any month yet, says JMA.
Although El Niño provided a boost to global temperatures and is expected to dissipate later in the year, the greatest driver of warming has been increased greenhouse gases. Even with an impending La Niña, which tends to depress global temperatures, predicted to form by fall, climate scientists at NASA say 2016 has a 99 percent chance of besting 2015 as the warmest year on record.
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