UK's Met Office Reminds Us It's Not Cold Everywhere
One more to try to eradicate the 'it's snowing and cold so global warming mustn't be happening' meme: The UK's Met Office reminds us all that it's not only not cold everywhere in the world, but many places are currently seeing much higher temperatures than average. They sum up succinctly, "The current cold weather in the UK is part of the normal regional variations that take place in the winter season. It doesn't tell us anything about climate change, which has to be looked at in a global context and over longer periods of time."Some Places Trending 10°C Above Normal
In case you're wondering about those warmer than usual places: The Met Office points out that the northeast part of the United States and Canada, North Africa, the Mediterranean, and southwest Asia are all statistically well above normal--more than 5°C above normal and in northern Canada more than 10°C warmer.
Overall, 2009 was the fifth warmest year on the books, since records began being kept in 1850.
Understand the Difference Between Climate & Weather
Really, let's all start reminding our friends, family and even random people on the street that weather and climate are not the same thing. This isn't even a question of is or is not the planet warming; it's basic terminology and education.
The overall trend can still be way up, temperatures can still keep climbing, and it can still mean that we will experience serious cold and snowy snaps. Equally, just because your area is experiencing much hotter than normal temps in the summer, doesn't mean it's automatically tied to climate change. A much broader and longer-term view is needed to determine that.