For those living in the Eastern half of the United States and shoveling through a very cold and snowy winter, global warming might be the last thing on their minds. This is where the “global” in global warming is worth paying attention to.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), This past January was in fact the fourth warmest January in recorded history. While parts of the U.S. were in deep-freeze, Alaska was experiencing its sixth warmest January on record. Elsewhere, Australia was dealing with a dangerous heat wave and temperatures in South America, Africa, Europe, and Central Asia were also warmer than normal.
NOAA, in its recently released State of the Climate report, found that the global average temperature (over both land and water) in January was 54.8°F—1.17°F above the 20th century average of 53.6°F. The Weather Channel has a nice video showing how the few areas of cold were more than offset by warm weather everywhere else.