May was the warmest month since records began in 1979, according to data from the European Earth Observation Program Copernicus, and a measurement station in Hawaii has measured more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere than ever before.
Indicators of climate change have reached new heights, WMO spokeswoman Clare Nullis said in Geneva on Friday. “This has a great impact on biodiversity and nature.” Friday was the international day for the environment, which was under the motto “Time for Nature”.
The average temperature in May was 0.63 degrees higher globally, the 1981-2010 average, Copernicus reported. The highest above-average values were measured in parts of Siberia, where the temperature was sometimes up to ten degrees warmer. In Alaska and Antarctica, it was also significantly warmer than average. In Europe, May was slightly colder than average.
The Mauna Loa observation station in Hawaii recorded an average carbon dioxide concentration of 417.1 particles per million particles of air (ppm) for May. That was the highest average ever recorded at this station in a month, the US weather agency NOAA reported on Thursday (local time). The figure was 2.4 ppm higher than in May 2019.
Particularly high values have already been measured this year at the measuring station of the Federal Environment Agency on the Zugspitze. In March, the concentration in March had risen for the first time to almost 418 particles per million particles of air (ppm), 3 ppm higher than in 2019. It was also higher in April than in the previous year.
In the northern hemisphere, the concentration of carbon dioxide at the beginning of spring is always particularly high. After that, the vegetation grows and absorbs more CO2, so the value is usually lower for the rest of the year, according to the WMO. The average for the full year is always below the spring figures.