I posted not too long ago about how 2012 was the warmest year in the instrumental record across the U.S., and I also showed how it's been warmer in many places around the globe. But this broad-brushes reality. It's been a cold winter in Russia. They've had snow recently in Israel. This doesn't negate the overall trend towards global warming. - on the whole, the world is still warming - but the fluctuations in the weather seem to have gone a little haywire. It reminds me a little bit of watching a seismograph during a small earthquake...the needle is jumping up and down a lot quicker and a bit farther than we're used to.
The dual nature of the weather - hot and cold, wet and dry - reminds me of the increasing polarization in the world: Democrat and Republican, Liberal and Conservative, Secular and Religious, Economic and Social, and so on. Now I'm not saying that this is the cause. From our Western perspective, with our assumption that nature operates of its own accord, or by God's will, depending on one's view, it's crazy to think that our way of viewing the world and interacting with the world actually affects how the world works! But it is an interesting correlation, nevertheless.
Here's the article from the New York Times.
Extreme Weather Grows in Frequency and Intensity Around the World