January 2014 Was Fourth-Warmest On Record for Planet
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration data, which came out Thursday, found that the Earth was 1.17 degrees warmer this January than the average temperature dating back to 1880. The only other warmer January months were in 2002, 2003 and 2007. The southern hemisphere had the warmest January on record, and most of Africa, South America, Australia, Asia and Europe were much warmer than usual. The U.S. was one of the few places with very chilly temperatures, except for Alaska.
Scientists say decreases in Arctic sea ice due in part to man-made warming have lead to shifts in the jet stream this year that in turn brought the cold weather to the continental U.S. this winter (polar vortex).