Published: Jun 15, 2010 7:53 PM EDT
Updated: Jun 15, 2010 4:55 PM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) - And the heat goes on: It was the warmest May
on record.
      Worldwide, the average temperature for the month was 58.6
degrees Fahrenheit (14.8 Celsius), the warmest May on record, back
to 1880.
      That was 1.24 degrees F (0.69 C) warmer than average for the
month as the planet's temperature continues to climb. Atmospheric
scientists generally attribute the rising readings to the
greenhouse effect, with man-made chemicals added to the atmosphere
trapping heat from the sun that previously would have gone back out
into space.
      This year has also marked the warmest January-May period on
record, according to the report from the National Climatic Data
Center, an arm of the government's National Oceanic and Atmospheric
      Looking at just the United States, May temperatures were near
average with cooler-than-normal temperatures in the West balanced
by warmer-than-normal readings East.
      Idaho had its second coolest May on record, for example, while
Rhode Island had its second warmest and Florida tied for its second