After the debacle that was Copenhagen, the stalling of vital emissions trading bills in both the US and Australia, the IPCC chaos, climate gate and the public’s cooling towards the man made climate change argument, there is plenty of sceptically suddenly appearing in regards to climate change.
On top of that, the UK, the USA and parts of Asia have had record low temperatures and record cold-snaps. This is has inevitably led to further questions about global warming. The answer to that question is two fold. Firstly, scientists have always suggested that climate change does what it says on the tin, changes climate. That includes record cold as well as record hot. Rush Limbaugh has been caught out stating that the record snows in the US North East are proof that climate change is bunk.
The table below from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the scientific arm of the US Department of Commerce shows the second answer to the question of “what global warming?” According to this info, Russia, the US North East and Northern Europe and the UK have had significantly below average temperatures, but clearly, the surface temperature almost everywhere else has suffered from significant above average heat. In fact from the data underneath the image shows that January was the 4th warmest January on record.
Basically, it shows that people such as Limbaugh have an incredibly localised viewpoint. While that is no surprise for people of his ilk, it is important that Governments highlight this to the wider population. Just because it is cold here, doesn’t mean it isn’t going to be abnormally hot somewhere else. Australia had record setting temperatures over the summer and it doesn’t take much to turn on the television and watch all of the warm weather that is severely hampering the Vancouver Winter Olympics at the moment.
- The combined global land and ocean average surface temperature for January 2010 was 0.60°C (1.08°F) above the 20th century average of 12.0°C (53.6°F). This is the fourth warmest January on record.
- The global land surface temperature for January 2010 was 0.83°C (1.49°F) above the 20th century average of 2.8°C (37.0°F)—the twelfth warmest January on record. Land areas in the Southern Hemisphere were the warmest on record for January. In the Northern Hemisphere, which has much more land, comparatively, land surface temperatures were 18th warmest on record.
- The worldwide ocean surface temperature for January 2010 was the second warmest—behind 1998—on record for January, 0.52°C (0.94°F) above the 20th century average of 15.8°C (60.5°F). This can be partially attributed to the persistence of El Niño across the equatorial Pacific Ocean. According to NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center (CPC), El Niño is expected to continue through the Northern Hemisphere spring 2010.