The Great Arctic Solar Mystery: Why Did Sunlight Return to Greenland Two Days Early?

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Icebergs near the mouth of the Jakobshavn ice fjord near Ilulissat, Greenland

REUTERS / Bob Strong

Forget what the groundhog says, the winter may have ended two days early in Greenland. (via Huffington Post)

Residents of Ilulissat reported seeing the sun on January 11, two days earlier than the expected date January 13. Located three degrees north of the arctic circle, Ilulissat doesn’t see the sunrise during the winter or the sunset during the summer.

(More on TIME.com: Greenland in Photos — Stunning, Frozen Vistas)

While scientists are yet to agree upon an explanation, ideas are circulating, such as the impending 2012 leap year and the changes in the constellations.

Perhaps the most convincing explanation is Greenland’s melting polar ice caps. The average annual temperature in Greenland was three degrees Celcius higher in 2010 than average.

(Climate Change Photos – Himalayan Glaciers Under Threat)

As the ice caps melt, the horizon line sinks, potentially paving the way for an earlier sunrise.

NewsFeed can’t decide who has it worse this year: Greenland’s polar bears or their vampires. Yes, girls, Edward’s from Greenland.

(More Photos: Africa Endures A Brutal Climate)

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