• newswise-fullscreen Global Temperature Report - May 2008

    Broken lines outline areas cooler than seasonal norms; solid lines outline areas warmer than seasonal norms. Each contour represents one degree Celsius.

  • newswise-fullscreen Global Temperature Report - May 2008

    Lower troposphere tropics temperature

  • newswise-fullscreen Global Temperature Report - May 2008

    Bar graph shows global temperature reports from 1978 to 2008.

Newswise — Global Temperature Report: May 2008The University of Alabama in Huntsville

May headlines:Tropics see 5th coolest month;Globe coolest since Jan. 2000

Global trend since Nov. 16, 1978: +0.13 C per decade

May temperatures (preliminary)

Global composite temp.: - 0.18 C (about 0.32 degrees Fahrenheit) below20-year average for May.

Northern Hemisphere: - 0.05 C (about 0.09 degrees Fahrenheit) below 20-yearaverage for May.

Southern Hemisphere: - 0.31 C (about 0.56 degrees Fahrenheit) below 20-yearaverage for May.

April temperatures (revised):

Global Composite: + 0.02 C above 20-year average

Northern Hemisphere: + 0.17 C above 20-year average

Southern Hemisphere: - 0.14 C below 20-year average

(All temperature variations are based on a 20-year average (1979-1998) forthe month reported.)

Notes on data released June 4, 2008:

Global average temperatures and temperatures in the tropics continued tofall in May, driven by a La Nina Pacific Ocean cooling event.

Compared to seasonal norms, temperatures in the tropical third of the globenearly tied for the fourth coolest month in 29 years, while the globe wascooler than at any time since January 2000, according to Dr. John Christy,director of the Earth System Science Center at The University of Alabama inHuntsville.

A broad band of cooler than normal air virtually girdled the globe in May.The tropics were 0.58 C (about 1.04 degrees Fahrenheit) cooler than seasonalnorms in May.

Coolest months in the tropics:

March 1989 - 0.73 C (-1.31 F)

February 1989 - 0.63 C (-1.13 F)

December 1988 - 0.62 C (-1.12 F)

July 1985 - 0.583 C (-1.05 F)

May 2008 - 0.579 C (-1.04 F)

As part of an ongoing joint project between UAHuntsville, NOAA and NASA, Christy and Dr. Roy Spencer, a principal research scientist in the ESSC, use data gathered by microwave sounding units on NOAA and NASA satellites to getaccurate temperature readings for almost all regions of the Earth. Thisincludes remote desert, ocean and rain forest areas for which reliableclimate data are not otherwise available.

The satellite-based instruments measure the temperature of the atmospherefrom the surface up to an altitude of about eight kilometers above sealevel.

Once the monthly temperature data is collected and processed, it is placedin a "public" computer file for immediate access by atmospheric scientists in the U.S. and abroad.

Neither Spencer nor Christy receive any research support or funding fromoil, coal or industrial companies or organizations, or from any private orspecial interest groups. All of their climate research funding comes fromstate and federal grants or contracts.

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