By Molly Daly

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — People aren’t the only ones who are thrown by this weirdly warm December.

Plants and animals are also a bit confused.

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The Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education’s Mike Weilbacher says the signs are all over, from cherry blossoms on Belmont Plateau, to spring wildflowers like hepatica blooming four months early.

There’s even a bit of a baby boom.

“At the wildlife clinic, we had some newborn squirrels brought in this week, and squirrels shouldn’t be having babies in December. So that’s odd.”

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Gray Squirrels normally have two litters, one in spring and the other in late summer. But Weilbacher says as the climate’s warmed, their breeding season has extended later into the fall.

Although you can’t definitively pin this springlike December on climate change, Weilbacher says it’s consistent with a longtime trend.

“Take the average over the last 100 years, and if you’re 30 years old, you’ve never seen a month below that average. Any one event is not a pattern, but 30 years of above average temperature — I think that’s fair to say that’s a pattern.”

 

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