Weather reports indicate that temperatures this week will be near 60 degrees -- not typical for Hudson County in January.
"We know the planet is absorbing more energy than it is emitting," said GISS Director James E. Hansen. "So we are continuing to see a trend toward higher temperatures. Even with the cooling effects of a strong La Niña influence and low solar activity for the past several years, 2011 was one of the 10 warmest years on record."
NASA attributes the higher temperatures to increased atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases, especially carbon dioxide, which is released by vehicles, energy production, and industry. These gases absorb infrared radiation emitted by Earth and release that energy into the atmosphere rather than allowing it to escape to space. As their atmospheric concentration has increased, the amount of energy "trapped" by these gases has led to higher temperatures.
To watch a NASA video of the shift in above average temperatures since 1884, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/2011-temps.html.