Even if it is still cold and stormy in parts of North America, the data reveals that the global warming trend is strong and getting stronger. As some of us are still waiting for the first flowers to bloom, winter may seem eternal. Cold weather can give the impression that the heat may be abating somewhat, however the facts reveal that global warming shows no signs of easing.
For those that live in the Eastern US and Canada this was a cold winter (parts of Canada registered one of the coldest months of February on record) and for some the cold is persisting into spring. The combination of the polar vortex, winter storms and a late spring may even lead some who live in these regions to surmise that the global warming trend has abated. However, such suppositions are not born out by the facts.
Depending on who you listen to last year (2013) was either the 4th or the 7th hottest year on record. January which from where many of us stood seemed abnormally frigid, was actually a continuation of the global warming trend. Globally, it was the fourth-warmest January since record keeping began in 1880. Globally, February was the 21st warmest on record. February was also the 348th consecutive month with above-average temperatures (compared to the 20th century average). The period from December 2013 to February 2014 was the 8th warmest on record globally.
To add fuel to the fire of global warming, the US National Climatic Data Center reported that we are on track for yet another record or near-record warm year in 2014. In fact, we have seen evidence of global warming for almost three consecutive decades.
Not only is it hot it is getting hotter. NOAA data shows that month after month the earth continues to warm, with global average temperatures being among their top 10 warmest for the ninth straight month.
While some parts of North America were experiencing bitter cold, other places like Scandinavia, Russia and Finland have been experiencing some of the warmest temperatures on record.
So no, global warming is not letting up and this underscores the importance of looking at the big picture and not extrapolating from local weather conditions.
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