Did Greenland Sun Rise 2 Days Early?

Reports say it did—but is global warming to blame?
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 21, 2011 12:15 PM CST
An iceberg melts off Eastern Greenland in this 2007 file photo.   (AP Photo/John McConnico, File)

(Newser) – Residents of Ilulissat, Greenland, live in darkness for a large chunk of winter—but that chunk was two days shorter this year. The sun reportedly rose on Jan. 11, instead of its normal date of Jan. 13, the Huffington Post reports. Of course, theories were quick to surface, and one of the suspects is climate change. Global warming is blamed for melting Greenland’s ice caps, and as they melt, the horizon sinks. That means the sun could appear over the horizon earlier, although some doubted this explanation.

It could just be an illusion, according to some scientists who believe the sun’s rays simply had a stronger bend than usual and thus made it appear to have risen earlier. Whatever happened, experts tell LiveScience it was an isolated event, not a sign of early spring for the entire hemisphere: “In a nutshell, there can't be a change in the true sunrise, because that would require the Earth-Sun orbital parameters to change,” says one professor.

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