Amid concerns arising out of US President Donald Trump's decision to pull out of the Paris climate accord, a monthly analysis of global temperatures by NASA scientists has shown that May 2017 was the second warmest May in 137 years of modern record-keeping.
The two top May temperature anomalies have occurred during the past two years as May 2016 was the hottest on record, NASA said.
May 2017's temperature was 0.05 degree Celsius cooler than May 2016. It was just 0.01 degree Celsius warmer than the third warmest May, which occurred in 2014, NASA said in a statement.
The previous three months of this year -- April, March and February -- were also the second warmest on record. January 2017 was third warmest January on record.
According to independent analyses by NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Earth's 2016 surface temperatures were the warmest since modern recordkeeping began in 1880.
It was also the third year in a row to set a new record for global average surface temperatures.
Globally-averaged temperatures in 2016 were 0.99 degree Celsius warmer than the mid-20th century mean.
The monthly analysis by the scientists at NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York is assembled from publicly available data acquired by about 6,300 meteorological stations around the world, ship-and buoy-based instruments measuring sea surface temperature, and Antarctic research stations.
The modern global temperature record begins around 1880 because previous observations did not cover enough of the planet.
Monthly analyses are sometimes updated when additional data becomes available, and the results are subject to change, NASA said.
Trump earlier this month announced that the US was withdrawing from the Paris Climate Agreement due to the "draconian financial and economic burdens" the agreement imposes on his country.
The Paris Climate Agreement, inked by 195 nations, was signed in 2015 and aims to keep global temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius and aspires to restrict it to 1.5 degrees.
Experts feel that the US decision could be a blow to the global climate change mitigation efforts.
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