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Finland experiences exceptionally warm winter

HELSINKI, Dec. 30 — No Santa Claus sending presents across snow land and no grand ski racing on the ice in Finland this year as the Nordic country experienced an exceptionally warm winter, China's Xinhua news agency reported.

In Helsinki, where it was cloudy and rainy almost everyday this year, the grass was still green, and some plants began to sprout. However, in December 2010, the average temperature was minus 15 degrees Celsius in Helsinki, as compared to the five degrees Celsius this month.

During Christmas holidays this year, there was no snow in most parts of Finland, while the country was turned into a snow world last year. In Helsinki, the capital, the snow reached a thickness of 43 cm last year.

Most waterways were unfrozen, as a result of the warm winter, which also delayed the migration of a number of birds roosting in Finland. Some of the water birds, which usually begin their southward flight in September, were still hovering here.

Another rare natural phenomenon was the mushrooms, thanks to the warm and humid environment. During Christmas, mushroom picking, rather than skiing, was a more feasible activity in southern Finland.

Indeed, the snow-less winter has forced several winter sports to be cancelled.

Some ski resorts resorted to building artificial ski slopes, whereas in Helsinki, many ski enthusiasts have to go to a large indoor ski center to enjoy the fun.

Some local experts believed that the phenomenon of warm winter observed in Finland was directly related to global climatic change.

If measures are not taken in time to further reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the warm winter will become a universal phenomenon by the end of this century. (PNA/Bernama) FFC/utb

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