January 2015: Second-Warmest On Record


Our first noticeable snowfall in 4 years, but it was 35°F outside. The last time it snowed here, it was 17°F.
(Copyright © 2015 by Wil C. Fry.)

Despite the overbearing news reports about the record cold snaps in parts of the U.S., this has little to do with global warming or climate change. Professional buffoon Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) disagrees, of course, and recently tossed a snowball to disprove global warming.

Like many, Inhofe ignores a few important points. (1) The contiguous United States occupies less than 2% of the Earth’s total surface area. (2) It wasn’t even that cold in much of the U.S. this winter (last month was the U.S.’s 24th warmest January.)

According to the NOAA (via Weather.com), one region of the U.S. — the Midwest — “registered a top 10 coldest winter” in 2014-5, but California saw its warmest winter on record, and Arizona’s was the fourth-warmest. Alaska’s (not part of the contiguous U.S.) winter was the eighth-warmest.

For the globe as a whole, however, January 2015 was the second-warmest on record (alternate source), just behind January 2007. In some parts of the world, January 2015 was the warmest January on record, including China.

No one younger than 38 has ever seen a year that was below average; 2014 was the 38th consecutive above-average year. Thirteen of the 14 hottest years on record have been in the 21st Century.

According to my own records, January 2015 was the second-coldest here in Killeen, Texas — but my records only go back six years. All of those years were warmer than the long-term average for this region.

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