While I was on vacation last week I had an extensive discussion with some climate skeptic friends. They had seen many news outlets talking about global cooling, not warming, as of late, and wanted to know my take on it. This led me to dig into the historical surface temperature records a bit. The result is the map on the right.
To simplify the data crunching, I chose to analyze average temps for the month of April to reduce the extremes of winter and summer.
The results show that the up until January 2008 the earth, on average, was definitely getting warmer. The polar regions, especially the arctic, show the extreme warming that everyone is worried about. There are only a few areas of cooling. My buddy, colleague, and climate scientist James Wang told me that he knows of temperature data up to June 2008. Here is that set of maps for the first few months of 2008