Saul Loeb / AFP - Getty Images
Cherry blossom trees on the National Mall in Washington, DC, are blooming earlier than usual as the city records one of its warmest winters.
In a typical March, weather.com reports, you may be teased with one, maybe two nice days before being hit with the cold reality of winter.
But in the eastern part of the country, March 2012 has broken thousands of daily high records. In International Falls, Minn., supposedly the coldest city in the nation, highs have reached 79 degrees.
Chicago, Ill. tied or set daily records nine days in a row. Eight of those were in the 80s; Wednesday reached 87, weather.com reported.
The list goes on – Atlanta, Ga. had seven days straight of 80-degree highs. Caribou, ME surpassed its normal high of 36 degrees by seasons and on Thursday reached a record-breaking 75 degrees. (The original record, set in 1946, was 57 degrees.)
Researchers worry the heat wave may be a symptom of global warming, Climate Central reported.
The researchers specialize in a field known as “extreme event attribution,” Climate Central reported, and said that global warming made it more likely for March’s extreme temperatures to occur.
Climate Central points to studies of the European heat wave of 2003 and the Russian heat wave of 2010, which found that changes in greenhouse gases can increase the odds of excessively warm weather.
Researcher David Barriopedro of the University of Lisbon in Portugal found that 2003 and 2010 were the warmest summers since 1500. But he cautioned against blaming the heat waves on climate change.
"It's very difficult, if not impossible, to attribute a given extreme event, like the 2003 mega heat wave, to climate change," he told LiveScience. "What we can do is estimate what has been the contribution of humans to increase or decrease the likelihood of an analogue, an event like that."
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