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The extreme cold that defines Minnesota winters is getting less extreme

Frost covers part of a face
Frost covers part of the face of University of Minnesota student Daniel Dylla during a morning jog along Mississippi River Parkway in January 2019 in Minneapolis.
David Joles | Star Tribune via AP 2019

The temperature plunged to 43 degrees below zero in northern Minnesota this week. But we’re seeing less of that extreme cold because of climate change.

“From roughly 1883 to 1983, we had about 20 winters with a temperature of minus 50 or colder,” said climatologist Mark Seeley on this week’s Climate Cast. “Since 1983, we’ve only had four, so that’s dramatically dropped.”

And that shift has affected everything from winter recreation, to what you can plant in your yard, to the management of invasive pests.

To hear more, click play on the audio player above or subscribe to the Climate Cast podcast.

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