Of course we already have had a heads up from all the wire reports around the world talking about the significant winter weather events that have occurred worldwide in the last month, but until now, there hasn’t been a measure of how the planet was doing for the winter of 2007/2008.
Remote Sensing Systems of Santa Rosa just posted the latest MSU (Microwave Sounder Unit) data.
January posted a -.08°C near global anomaly between -70S and 82.5N latitude (the viewshed of the satellite sounder). That makes it the coldest month since January 2000, and the 2nd coldest January for the planet in 15 years. Both northern and southern hemispheres posted negative anomalies of -012°C and -.038°C respectively, happening for the first time since January 2000.
The United States posted a -.557°C anomaly for January 2008 and a -0.196°C anomaly for December 2007.
One can reasonably argue that this is a La Nina event and therefore cyclical rather than a sign of cooling or not-warming (January 2000 was also in a La Nina). Which is all well and good except for a couple of things. First, scientists used to think that El Nino’s and La Nina’s didn’t heat or cool the world so much as redistribute it across the surface. Now, with satellites being able to watch the whole world at the same time, they are being forced to rething this proposition.
Second, while climate scientists can reasonably argue that current cold temperatures are cyclical rather than part of a longer trend because they are an La Nina, they did NOT make this same argument when the 1998 El Nino produced cyclically hotter temperatures. All I remember about 1998 is Mann, Gore, Hansen and company all saying 1998 was the hottest year on record and proof of global warming.