This article makes me wonder if one of my red sisters is still convinced that global warming is a "liberal conspiracy." She lives near D.C., so she's been affected by this unnaturally warm weather.
One thing I should point out is that climate changes like the ones that have been happening in recent weeks are going to affect the middle latitudes the most. Here on the equator (S'pore is one degree north of the equator), the effects of global warming won't be nearly as severe as they will be, insha'allah, in the US or Europe. Down here, where there's more ocean than land, the heat from the sun turns the water into clouds, helping to block the sun's rays (reflecting the heat back into space). As a result, our climate remains a relatively stable 30-33 degrees Celsius (around 90 degrees Farenheit) every day of the year. Yes, we do have an endless summer, but the temperature isn't oppressive with heat waves and the like as you'll get in the US and Europe. So, if you live further north, expect your summers (and winters) to become much worse than it is down here in the tropics.
A week of warm temperatures in the middle of winter is now making Americans confront terms like climate change and global warming. Last year at this time the Big Apple was snowed in by a blizzard but today New Yorkers are walking around in T-shirts.
And it is the same all along the East Coast. Temperatures soared to record highs on Saturday, touching 70 degrees Fahrenheit in Washington DC, Northern Virginia and Maryland.
"I know very well that it's not supposed to be like this, so what does it mean?" said Karen Bukhart, Boston resident.
Meteorologists answer that El Nino is to blame. "It enhances the jet stream across the pacific and the southern states of the US. This produces a mild pattern for much of the United States," said Vernon Kousky, meteorologist.
But environmentalists warn that while El Nino may have been the immediate cause for the warm weather, there is more to this than just El Nino. "Underneath those reasons relates to global warming. Global warming is setting up conditions that are making it more likely for us to see these kinds of effects.
While it may be inappropriate for us to say that global warming specifically caused this one event it makes it more likely for such events to occur," said Dr Bill Chameides, Chief Scientist, Environmental Defense.
In Washington, the unusually warm weather has caused cherry blossoms to bloom three months early. While the flowers are pleasing to the eye they are also a cause of worry. Americans are increasingly wondering what is going on.
"It really concerns me. It is January 6. We should be in the middle of a snowy period, a cold period. Life and ecosystems need that full cycle to rejuvenate and something is wrong. All of the flowers are blooming, the cherry tree blossoms, the crocuses. I personally attribute this to global warming," said Laura Bowling, a US resident.
The United States, the world's biggest emitter of greenhouse gases, pulled out of the Kyoto treaty in 2001.
But Katrina, the summer's heat wave, last week's snow storms in Denver and now temperatures of over 20 degrees Celsius in January seems to be sending the message home - that climate change is for real.