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Why Did the Sun Rise 48 Hours Ahead of Its Usual Date In Greenland?

Illustration for article titled Why Did the Sun Rise 48 Hours Ahead of Its Usual Date In Greenland?

For a month and a half, there's absolutely no Sun in Greenland because of Earth's angle in relation to our home star. People there eagerly await for January 13, when the Sun rises again, every year. Except this one.

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This year, the Sun rose 48 hours ahead of its projected date. Around 1pm, the first rays appeared on the horizon. The occurrence left everyone baffled, scientists included. But no, this doesn't mean that Earth's inclination has changed or that we are off our orbit or that the Sun has changed its position.

The only explanation, according to Thomas Posch, of the Institute for Astronomy of the University of Vienna, is a local change of the horizon: Since the ice levels are sinking, so does the horizon. The Sun's rays—coming at a very low angle because of Earth's inclination—don't get blocked by a mass of ice to the East and they can reach areas that were covered in shadow, illuminating them directly.

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Scientists believe that this explanation is consistent with the 2010 temperature increase (3ºC on average in Greenland) and the decreasing level of ice and snow precipitations. [Daily Mail]

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DISCUSSION

There actually ARE people (in America, anyway) who still believe that global warming is some "conspiracy theory".

I've never dug in to learn 'to exactly who's benefit' this conspiracy would be, since that's a requirement of a conspiracy...

The bigger concern is that water cooler fiction can end up in the news (Fox news anyway) as pseudo-fact - that says just as troubling things about our country and the systems in place that influence what impressionable society thinks, as it does about global warming.

Maybe my fear about exactly that is tempering my concern about global warming...

You've got to have a world you want to live among to have concern for the demise of it, right?