For right-wingers who are cackling because they think the recent cold snap in the U.S. proves that global warming is a myth, here's a reality check from meteorologists at Penn State, courtesy of The New York Times:
As of late last week, January 2003 was only the 36th coldest January on record for New York City. Averaging 29 degrees, this January has been downright balmy compared with, say, January 1918, when the average was 21.7 degrees.
Not a single low temperature has set a record. The lowest temperature so far this month was an un-record-shattering 7 degrees on Jan. 18 in Central Park. That would not be a record for any day in Januaries past....
New York City has an illustrious weather history. In January 1857, ... temperatures hovered at zero degrees before dropping on Jan. 24 to minus 9....
* A preliminary assessment of weather data from around the world indicates, according to the British Meteorological Office and the University of East Anglia, that 1995 was the warmest year since recordkeeping began in 1856.
* The global mean temperature anomaly for March 1998 is the second warmest on record at 0.79 degrees C above the 1961-1990 mean.
* September 1998 was the warmest September on record both globally and in the contiguous United States, the Commerce Department's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported...
* October 2001 was the warmest October on record globally, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
* Last month [April 2002] was the second warmest April on record worldwide, and was warmer and drier than usual for much of the United States.
* Climate of 2002, May in Historical Perspective: Globally averaged surface temperatures were the third warmest on record for May and second warmest for spring, based on preliminary data.
* Climate of 2002, June in Historical Perspective: Globally averaged surface temperatures were the second warmest on record for June, based on preliminary data.
And that's just from one quick Google search.