Despite several really cold spells in the Midwest and eastern parts of the United States, at a world scale global warming continues. Here are some details from the NY Times February 20, 2014 article accompanying NASA’s map and climate data.
“For people throughout the Eastern United States who spent January slipping, sliding and shivering, here is a counterintuitive fact: For the earth as a whole, it was the fourth-warmest January on record. It was, in fact, the 347th consecutive month with temperatures above the 20th-century average, the government reported Thursday.
That may feel plausible to Californians, whose state experienced temperatures 10 or 15 degrees above normal in some places last month, and especially to Alaskans, where the average temperature was almost 15 degrees above normal. But on a map of January temperatures released Thursday by government weather analysts, the Eastern United States stood out as one of the coldest areas on the planet, compared with seasonal norms.
The United States covers only 2 percent of the surface of the globe, so what happens in this country does not have much influence on overall global temperatures.Brazil, much of southern Africa, most of Europe, large parts of China and most of Australia were unseasonably warm in January, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported Thursday. That continues a pattern of unusual global warming that is believed to be a consequence of human-caused emissions of greenhouse gases.