Shortened winter, early spring caused by climate change

Shortened winter, early spring caused by climate change

Early blooming of plants and flowers could lead to a disruption in nature's life cycles for some species.

New research is suggesting the the winter months will be a little shorter and spring will come a little bit earlier in the future, thanks to global climate change.  While that sounds good to most of us who dread facing the cold winter weather and look forward to the plants and flowers returning in the spring. it may not be the best thing for nature.

An article on the new research on newsweek,com, says scientists are predicting the arrival of spring will be about three weeks earlier than what we consider normal today by the year 2100.

The problem with that is nature has a specific clock that helps to control the ecosystems around the world, and a disruption of that timing could lead to difficulties for plants and animals that use the plants for food.

Science has a term for the phenomenon, phenological mismatch, and they are predicting it will happen more often than in the past, due to climate change.

This could lead to more than just early blooming of the flowers.  Bird migration, for example, depends on the blooming of the plants to provide food for the birds on their journeys.  Suppose they arrive at their destination and find that the blooming has already come and gone and there is little or no food for the birds to eat.  This could lead to smaller and smaller bird populations over a period of years

Spring, in the view of the scientists is defined by terms like “leaf out’, the point at which the leaves first appear on the plants, and “first bloom”, when the first flowers appear.  The researchers say that date will arrive an average of 22 days earlier than the present by 2100, and in the Pacific Northwest, even earlier, some 26.5 to 28.5 days.

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