When the temperatures were higher than normal in January, many believed the weather would get back to normal soon. 

Winter months at the University of Michigan normally consist of below-freezing temperatures and a lot of snow. But here, in the middle of February, some might say Spring Break has arrived early.

Many students have expressed their appreciation of the sunny days. The Michigan Students account wrote on Twitter, “Ann Arbor’s sunshine and clear, blue skies is making me feel all kinds of happy today!”

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Despite a positive reaction to the warmth, a new study led by Ian Winkelstern, a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University, found this latest warming to be harmful to rising sea levels.

The last time it was this warm, cold water that had melted from Greenland’s ice sheets was flowing as far down the Atlantic Ocean as Bermuda, altering the ecosystem and changing the ocean’s climate. Winkelstern told the Michigan News this could destroy the coral reefs of Bermuda, flood North America and cause Europe’s temperature to drop.

“If a big enough chunk of Greenland falls off, which has clearly happened in the past and has clearly caused these dramatic changes in the past, there’s no reason to think it couldn’t happen again,” Winkelstern told the Michigan News. “We’re doing a pretty good job of melting it right now.”

Regardless of whether this warm-up is from the effects of climate change, get ready for the warm days and sunny skies to continue this weekend and next week. 

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