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In Brief

May 2013 Was World's 3rd Warmest on Record

May 2013 Temperature Anomalies
A map of blended land and sea surface temperature anomalies in May 2013. (Image credit: NOAA)

May 2013 was among the top three warmest months of May in more than 130 years, when scientists began regularly collecting temperature records, according to a new report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

The globally averaged temperature for May 2013 tied for third place with those recorded in 1998 and 2005, and also marked the 37th consecutive May with a global temperature above the 20th century average of 58.6 degrees Fahrenheit (14.8 degrees Celsius), NOAA officials said in a statement. In fact, the last below-average global temperature in May was recorded in 1976, and the last below-average global temperature for any month was recorded more than 28 years ago, in February 1985.

The monthly summary also indicated that several regions of the world experienced record warm temperatures in May, including much of Siberia, parts of northern and eastern Europe, west-central Australia, areas of Libya and Algeria in northern Africa, and parts of northeastern China. Today's report continues a global trend in warming temperatures: Earlier this year, NOAA declared 2012 the warmest year on record in the contiguous United States. May 2012 is the warmest May on record.

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Denise Chow
Denise Chow is the Assistant Managing Editor at Live Science. Before joining the Live Science team in 2013, she spent two years as a staff writer for, where she wrote about rocket launches and covered NASA's final three space shuttle missions. A Canadian transplant, Denise has a bachelor's degree from the University of Toronto, and a master's degree in journalism from New York University.