Traditional analysis of journal bearings assumed a constant viscosity which simplified the solutions for static and dynamic characteristics and responses. Today's high-performance machinery requires more accurate models wherein temperature and viscosity distributions in the film must be calculated. Thermal effects in journal bearings have a strong influence on both static and dynamic properties, and consequently play a critical role in determining rotor-bearing system performance. This paper presents an extensive survey of the thermal modeling methods and effects in journal bearings. The subjects include various bearing types, and recent progress in thermal bearing design and thermal instability problems observed in fluid and gas film hydrodynamic bearings. The extent of the survey ranges from conventional Reynolds equation models to more advanced computational fluid dynamics models.