From: INSTITUTE OF PHYSICS via EurekAlert
Published October 14, 2015 07:57 AM

Spring will be springing earlier in the US

Scientists have projected that the onset of spring plant growth will shift by a median of three weeks earlier over the next century, as a result of rising global temperatures.

The results, published today (Wednesday 14th October), in the journal Environmental Research Letters, have long term implications for the growing season of plants and the relationship between plants and the animals that depend upon them.

The researchers, based at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, US, applied the extended Spring Indices to predict the dates of leaf and flower emergence based on day length. These general models capture the phenology of many plant species. 

Their results show particularly rapid shifts in plant phenology in the Pacific Northwest and Mountainous regions of the western US, with smaller shifts in southern areas, where spring already arrives early. 

"Our projections show that winter will be shorter - which sound greats great for those of us in Wisconsin" explains Andrew Allstadt, an author on the paper. "But long distance migratory birds, for example, time their migration based on day length in their winter range. They may arrive in their breeding ground to find that the plant resources that they require are already gone."

 

Read more at EurekAlert.

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