An annotated map of the world showing notable climate events that occurred in May 2018. For details, see the bulleted list below in our story and on the Web. (NOAA NCEI)
Low polar sea-ice coverage continues
The average Arctic sea ice coverage (extent) in May was 8.1 percent below the 1981–2010 average, the second smallest extent for May on record. The near-record low coverage stemmed from much-below-average sea ice in the Bering and Chukchi seas.
The Antarctic sea ice extent was 8.6 percent below average, the third smallest on record for May. Below-average ice coverage remained in parts of the Weddell Seaoffsite link.
Warmer-than-average lands and oceans, again
The globally averaged land-surface temperature was seventh highest on record for May and the fifth highest for the March–May period and the year to date.
The globally averaged sea-surface temperature was fourth highest on record for May and the March–May period, and the fifth highest for the year to date.
The heat was on in Europe
Europe had its warmest May on record; North America, its second; South America, its sixth; Africa, its ninth; Asia, its 15th; and Oceania had its 35th warmest.
> Access NOAA’s monthly climate report and download related maps and images.