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Fake snow in Alps, Moscow blooms: green Christmas?

Earth News: World Weather Observations

Dec 12, 2006
Alpine ski resorts are churning out artificial snow, daisies are flowering by the Kremlin in Moscow and retailers are fretting that Europeans are simply too warm to go Christmas shopping with a RECORD mild winter. Butterflies have been seen in Denmark, some Nordic golf courses - usually frozen for the winter - have reopened and many farmers worry that crops are sprouting far too early and could be killed by frost. One historian says that Europe has just had its warmest autumn in 500 years. In Russia, record December temperatures have kept bears from hibernating and flowers such as daisies and purple violets have been seen in and around the capital. Usually gripped by ice, Moscow basked at a record 7.7 Celsius (45.86F) on Dec. 7. In the Netherlands, the Dutch meteorological institute said 2006 was likely to be the warmest year in three centuries, and linked the record with global warming that many scientists fear will bring more floods, droughts and higher seas. German asthma sufferers are complaining of pollen and Sweden has suffered rare December floods. A report in science journal Nature this month said 2006 had the WARMEST AUTUMN SINCE COLUMBUS sailed the Atlantic, about 2C (3.6F) warmer than the long-term average. The autumn beat the record-warm autumns of 1772, 1938 and 2000.

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