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Warmest January, ever

Europe is freezing and the Eastern U.S. just experienced a snow-pocolypse, so surely the whole global warming thing must be wrong, right?

Sorry, Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK), but global warming is still happening, even though it snowed in January (of all things). According to the latest satellite data analyzed by climate scientist and IPCC member Neville Nicholls, this last January was hotter than any previously recorded January.

It’s not just January, either – it was the entire decade:
>The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said in December that 2000-2009 was the hottest decade since records began in 1850, and that 2009 would likely be the fifth warmest year on record. WMO data show that eight out of the 10 hottest years on record have all been since 2000.

It’s hard, sometimes, to accept pervasive trend data as accurate when personal experience contradicts it. In a similar way, you might be understandably skeptical of your town’s assessment that crime is down if you’ve just been robbed and so has your neighbor. It’s crucial, though, to remember that snow storms in winter are weather events, and global average temperature is a measure of our whole climate. No single weather event – including disastrous ones like Hurricane Katrina or the recent blizzards on the East coast – are directly caused by a changing climate. But scientists are telling us that increased warming of the climate can and will lead to more and stronger weather events, both hot and cold.

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