Data recently released by the the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration, NASA has shown that May 2015 was more than 0.7C above the long-term average.

This means that the first five months of 2015 were the warmest, globally, since detailed records began in 1880.

This warming trend follows on from what was the warmest winter (December to February) since at least 1880 - although people in the US and Canada may find this hard to believe after they experienced one of the coldest winters on record.

Climate sceptics had claimed that there was a halt, or ‘hiatus’, in warming based on the period 1997 to 2011. However, this claim relies heavily on the exceptional warmth of 1998, largely brought about by the warming effect of the El Nino event in that year.

A National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) paper published earlier this month concluded that such a hiatus did not exist and that the rate of warming in the 21st century is at least as great as that recorded in the latter half of the 20th century.

The hiatus claim also overlooked the fact that more than 90 percent of the warming takes place in the oceans, and apart from a slight slowing down, brought about by the recent cooling La Nina, the trend has been markedly upwards.

With 2014 the warmest year on record and 2015 standing every chance of beating that, the issue of climate change and global warming is likely to become more prominent than ever.

Source: Al Jazeera