The North Atlantic, including around the UK has been experiencing record-breaking temperatures.
Professor Stephen Belcher is the Met Office Chief Scientist. He said: “May 2023 has seen the highest temperatures of any May since 1850. But it doesn’t stop here. It has also been the highest month above average compared with any individual month in the series.”
Climate scientists often look at anomaly maps which compare current measurements with the average for a given long-term period.
Prof Belcher added: “Looking at the anomaly map for current sea-surface temperatures in the North Atlantic, some areas really stand out. You can see that the eastern Atlantic, from Iceland down to the tropics, is much warmer than average. But areas around parts of north-western Europe, including parts of the UK, have among some of the highest sea-surface temperatures relative to average.
“May 2023 was nominally the warmest May in the sea-surface temperature around the near-coastal waters of the UK since the late nineteenth century. The value is about 1.60 °C above the average for May over the period 1961-1990.”