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.
(Read more global warming stories.)