May becomes ‘the warmest month on record’ as CO2 levels hit new high

The most above-average temperatures were recorded at parts of Siberia, where they were up to 10°C above average, according to the World Meteorological Organization

Pathway to COP26 report

Last month was the warmest May on record and carbon dioxide levels also hit a new high despite the lockdown.

That’s according to the World Meteorological Organization, which suggests the month was 0.63°C warmer than the average May from 1981 to 2010.

It says the highest above-average temperatures were recorded in parts of Siberia, where they were up to 10°C more than the usual levels.

They were also much above average in Western Alaska, along the Andes bordering Chile and Argentina, in regions in West and East Antarctica and in Western North America.

Carbon dioxide concentrations reached also a seasonal peak of 417.1 parts per million for 2020 in May, the highest monthly reading ever recorded, according to scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres said: “Nature is sending us a clear message, we are harming the natural world to our own detriment. Habitat degradation and biodiversity loss are accelerating.

“Oceans are heating and acidifying, destroying coral ecosystems. And now, a new coronavirus is raging, undermining health and livelihoods. To care for humanity, we must care for nature.”

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