The March 2008 temperature data is available now. While some sources like Anthony Watts blog made a big deal out of anomalous January 2008 cooling (largely due to La Nina), and a DailyTech article went as far as to say that January 2008 cooling “cancelled out” a century of global warming. March 2008 recovered, but also jumped much higher than expected.
The past year (2007) witnessed a transition from a weak El Nino to a strong La Nina, with the latter now beginning to moderate as evidenced by the warming waters off of the coast of Peru. There seems to be more going on that just a dissipating La Nina (I would expect a shorter jump), and there are clearly anomalous conditions recently over Asia…not exactly sure what is going on. These 3 GISS maps show anomalies of Jan 08, Feb 08, and March 08 relative to the standard GISS base period.
Also of note is missing data in Africa which would effect what is going on. SkepticalScience also shows us this graph with the SOI index, so it appears La Nina is at least partially responsible.
The Southern Oscillation Index is a measure of La Nina, with a more positive SOI meaning La Nina( El Nino would have a more negative SOI). The U.K Met Office says that 2008 will probably still be a top 10 year, but a bit cooler than recent years because of the cold januray and february (next skeptic line: Global Warming Stopped in 2008!!!). But the point is that January did not cancel out any global warming, and there’s nothing unusual about La Nina. I predict that 2008 will be a top 10 year (certainly above the 1951-80 baseline), but will not break any records.