NOAA: Global high temps despite cold snap

While the start of the new year may have been cold for the U.S., the rest of the globe experienced the fourth warmest January on record.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reported on Thursday that the average global temperature was 54.8 degrees Fahrenheit in January, coming in above the 20th century average of 53.6 degrees Fahrenheit.

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"We see more evidence that we will continue to have cold air outbreaks as the climate continues to warm," said Deke Arndt, a scientist with the National Climatic Data Center.

"Cold air outbreaks, like the type we saw in January, over time, have become statistically more uncommon."

Arndt's comments contrast a familiar refrain used by Republicans in the last week.

As snowstorms hit a majority of states across the U.S., Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) slammed President Obama for taking extra efforts to mitigate climate change.

"Snow on the grd in 49 of 50 states and POTUS thinks global warming shld be an urgent priority," Cornyn wrote on Twitter.

And while a sizable chunk of the U.S. experienced an abnormally frigid winter, Alaska experienced temperatures "well above average for January," NOAA said.

January 2014 was the ninth consecutive time a month has ranked in the top 10 of highest temperatures for respective months.

A meteorologist for the agency's Climate Prediction Center, Dan Collins, said temperatures will likely stay above average over the next three months from the Pacific Northwest to the Desert Southwest and on to Florida.

Alaska is also expected to stay warmer than average into May.  

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