FILE - A man shelters under an umbrella as snow turns to sleet and rain in Berlin, Germany, May 7, 2021.
FILE - A man shelters under an umbrella as snow turns to sleet and rain in Berlin, Germany, May 7, 2021.

The World Meteorological Organization, the United Nations climate agency, reported Tuesday that Europe saw its coldest March through May since 2013, with temperatures 0.45 C below the 1991-2020 average.

During a briefing from the agency's headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, WMO spokesperson Clare Nullis cautioned that Europe's cool start did not reflect any pause in the world's climate change problems.

In fact, data from the European Union's Copernicus Climate Change Service show that the global average temperature for May was 0.26 C higher than the 1991-2020 mean, according to the U.N. News website.  

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Also according to U.N. News: "Temperatures were well above average over western Greenland, north Africa, the Middle East and northern and western Russia while below-average May temperatures were reported over the southern and central United States, parts of northern Canada, south-central Africa, most of India, eastern Russia, and eastern Antarctica."  

Nullis said there was also "quite a considerable rise" in carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere at the Mauna Loa Observatory, an atmospheric monitoring station operated by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association in Hawaii.

She said, "The fact CO2 does have such a long lifetime in the atmosphere does mean that future generations — and we're not just talking about one or two, we're talking about many generations — will be committed to seeing more impacts of climate change."  

Nullis warned rising CO2 levels will also have a "very serious impact" on the planet's oceans, which absorb almost a quarter of CO2 emissions.