Every month University of Alabama in Huntsville climatologists John Christy and Roy Spencer report the latest global temperature trends from satellite data. Below are the newest data updated through February, 2012.
The 3rd order polynomial fit to the data (courtesy of Excel) is for entertainment purposes only, and should not be construed as having any predictive value whatsoever.
Global climate trend since Nov. 16, 1978: +0.13 C per decade
February temperatures (preliminary)
Global composite temp.: -0.12 C (about 0.22 degrees Fahrenheit) below 30-year average for February.
Northern Hemisphere: -0.01 C (about 0.02 degrees Fahrenheit) below 30-year average for February.
Southern Hemisphere: -0.22 C (about 0.40 degrees Fahrenheit) below 30-year average for February.
Tropics: -0.14 C (about 0.25 degrees Fahrenheit) below 30-year average for February.
The UAH release further notes:
A large bands of cooler than normal air girdled the globe from South America across the Pacific and from South America northeast across North Africa, Europe and central Asia in February, with the "coldest" temperatures in western Asia, according to Dr. John Christy, a professor of atmospheric science and director of the Earth System Science Center at The University of Alabama in Huntsville. Compared to seasonal norms, the coolest spot on the globe in February was in Tajikistan, where the average temperature was a much as 4.7 C (about 8.5 degrees Fahrenheit) cooler than normal.
By comparison, the "warmest" spot was almost directly north of Tajikistan on the shore of the Arctic Ocean in central Russia around the Gulf of Ob. Warm is a relative term in northern Russia in February, but compared to seasonal norms the temperature there averaged 6.1 C (more than 11 degrees F) warmer than normal.
Personal note: This has been one of the more delightfully mild winters that I can remember in Virginia. That being said, we got four inches of snow earlier today. See the snow-covered daffodils in our backyard below: