May 2024 was Earth’s Warmest May on Record


The globe saw its 12th-consecutive month of record warmth.

Last month marked a full year of record-high global temperatures, with May 2024 ranking as the warmest May on record.

Earth’s ocean temperatures also set a record high for the 14th month in a row, according to data and scientists from NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information.

Climate by the numbers

May 2024

The average global May temperature was 2.12 degrees F (1.18 degrees C) above the 20th-century average of 58.6 degrees F (14.8 degrees C), ranking as the warmest May in NOAA’s 175-year global record. May 2024 marked the 12th-consecutive month of record-high temperatures for the planet.

Looking at the world’s land masses, temperatures were above average across most of the globe except for western North America, Greenland, southern South America, western Russia and parts of eastern Antarctica. Africa had its warmest May on record.

May 2024 was the 14th-consecutive month of record-warm ocean temperatures, a streak that has been running since April 2023. Looking regionally, sea surface temperatures were above average over most areas (and record warm over the tropical Atlantic Ocean), while parts of the Southern, southeastern Pacific and southern Indian Ocean basins were below average.

Season | Year to date

The March–May period — defined as the Northern Hemisphere’s meteorological spring and the Southern Hemisphere’s meteorological autumn — was the warmest on record at 2.32 degrees F (1.29 degrees C) above average.

The year-to-date (YTD, January through May 2024) global surface temperature ranked as the warmest such period on record, 2.38 degrees F (1.32 degrees C) above average. Africa, Europe and South America each had their warmest such YTD period, with North America ranking second warmest.

According to NCEI’s Global Annual Temperature Rankings Outlook, there is a 50% chance that 2024 will rank as the warmest year on record and a 100% chance that it will rank in the top five.