This has been a Very Warm January. Really.

jan2014-temperatures

The lower 48 states cover less than 2% of the world’s surface. What was the GLOBAL climate like during January? According to a Feb 20 report by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration:

  • Globally, January was the 4th warmest January on record (since 1880). The others were also recent years: 2002, 2003, and 2007).
  • Globally, we’ve now had 347 consecutive months (29 years) that were warmer than the average for the 20th century.
  • Globally, we’ve now had 38 consecutive Januarys (38 years, if you’re trying to figure it out) that were warmer than the average for the 20th century.
  • Alaska actually had warmer-than-average temperatures during January 2014. The average January temperature for Fairbanks is 1.1 degrees, but the average this year was 16.4 (it hit 45 degrees one day).
  • In the US, 2012 was the warmest year on record (the 11th warmest globally).

The report noted that the cold air blasts we experienced during January were fairly normal during the 1900s. We just don’t remember it, because we’ve had so many relatively warm winters in recent years.

It’s fascinating how Americans view the world. While 2012 was America’s warmest-ever winter, Europe experienced the type of cold we had this year, with hundreds of people dying. However, Americans didn’t look at Europe and proclaim, “See, global warming is a hoax!” When Americans sample the weather at a particular time in the specific place where they live, and conclude that that’s how it is in the rest of the world–well, I tend to ROTFLOL (that’s text-speak for “rolling on the floor laughing out loud”).

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