It was also the thirteenth consecutive month to break its temperature record, the longest such streak in NOAA's 137 years of record keeping.
During May, the average temperature across global land and ocean surfaces was 0.87°C above the 20th century average.
This makes it the hottest May globally in the 1880–2016 period of record.
In Australia, the national mean temperature for May was the second-warmest on record at 1.88 °C above average.
The scientific case for urgent action to tackle climate change could not be more clear.