Global warming sceptics are pointing to recent record cold temperatures in
parts of North America and Asia and the return of Arctic Sea ice to suggest
fears about climate change may be overblown.
According to the US National Climatic Data Center (NCDC), the average
temperature of the global land surface in January 2008 was below the 20th
century mean (-0.02°F/-0.01°C) for the first time since 1982.
Temperatures were also colder than average across large swathes of central Asia,
the Middle East, the western US, western Alaska and southeastern China.
The NCDC reported that the cold conditions were associated with "the largest
January snow cover extent on record for the Eurasian continent and for the
In some parts of China and central Asia, snow fell for the first time in living
memory, the NCDC noted.
"For the contiguous United States, the average temperature was ...