Across much of the United States, a warming climate has advanced the arrival of spring. This year is no exception. In parts of the Southeast, spring has arrived weeks earlier than normal and may turn out to be the warmest spring on record.
Apple blossoms in March and an earlier start to picnic season may seem harmless and even welcome. But the early arrival of springtime warmth has many downsides for the natural world and for humans.
Rising temperatures in the springtime signal plants and animals to come alive. Across the United States and worldwide, climate change is steadily disrupting the arrival and interactions of leaf buds, cherry blossoms, insects and more.
In my work as a plant ecologist and director of the USA National Phenology Network, I coordinate efforts to track the timing of seasonal events in plants and animals. Dramatically earlier spring activity has been documented in hundreds of species around the globe.
Lilies, blueberries, birds and more … all sped up