Despite cooler than average temperatures in the Eastern U.S., China, and the Pacific, the globe was 0.68 degrees F (0.38 deg C) warmer than the 1971-2010 average during January 2011. Analysis by the National Climatic Data Center shows significantly warmer areas, especially in the high northern latitudes. This warming has resulted in record low ice extents in the Arctic, and has helped to setup some of the weather patterns that brought cold air to the U.S. and Europe.
This image shows temperatures around the globe compared to the 1971-2000 average. Areas colored blue are cooler than average; areas colored red are warmer than average. The image was created using data from the Global Historical Climatology Network database , which compiles weather observations from thousands of stations around the globe.