Global temperature in May was +1.07°C (relative to the 1880-1920 base
period, which is a best estimate of preindustrial temperature). The temperature was well below a year earlier (Fig. 1), as expected due to
the La Nina that peaked in Nov 2020. Global temperature
anomalies are correlated with ENSO (El Nino Southern Oscillation),
with global temperature lagging the Nino 3.4 index by 5 months on
average (Fig. 1 in our April 2021 Temperature Update).
The 12-month running-mean global temperature (blue line in Fig. 2) at
+1.13°C is now near the 1970-2015 trend line. This 12-month mean
should continue to fall during the next 6 months, reaching a minimum
in Nov, as discussed in the April 2021 Temperature update.
On the longer run, global temperature will increase in response to the
present large planetary energy imbalance (absorbed solar energy
exceeds thermal emission to space by about +1 W/m2) and the
continuing growth of human-made greenhouse gases. In addition, solar irradiance reached the minimum of the present solar cycle during 2019,
so for about the next 6 years solar irradiance will add a small
positive (warming) forcing (global temperature response to solar cycle
forcing lags the solar cycle by 1-2 years due to the climate system's
Global temperature should reach about +1.5°C in conjunction with the
next El Nino.
Local monthly temperature anomalies routinely exceed global mean
warming. Much of North America, Western Europe, India and Eastern
Antarctica experienced negative temperature anomalies in May relative
to the 1951-1980 average (Fig. 3). The largest positive anomalies
were in Central Asia, the Arctic and Western Antarctica.
 von Schuckmann, K., et al.: Heat stored in the Earth system: where does the energy go?, Earth System Science Data 12, 2013-2041, 2020.
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