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What winter? Earth just had its second-warmest December-February on record

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Second warmest winter on record

All the weird warmth messed with the region’s flora and fauna, as Gizmodo noted. Flowers started to bloom early in the winter, and some bears even awoke from hibernation at the Bolsherechensky Zoo, the Washington Post said.

In Europe, France had its warmest winter on record, while both Austria and the Netherlands had their second-warmest winter. Austria has a long history of keeping weather data: temperature records there go back to 1767, when Mozart was 11 years old.

What winter? Earth just had its second-warmest December-February on record

Doyle Rice
USA TODAY
Climate change: warm wintersWhat winter?

The months of December, January and February – which meteorologists define as winter here in the Northern Hemisphere – were the second-warmest on record, federal scientists announced Friday.

Only the El Niño-fueled winter of 2015-16 was warmer, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said. El Niño, a natural warming of sea water in the tropical Pacific Ocean, acts to boost global temperatures.

Global temperature records for the Earth go back to 1880.

Some of the most extreme warmth was in Russia, which smashed its record for warmest winter. Temperatures there were as much as a whopping 12 degrees above average, according to the country's weather service.

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