Botanists see winter fading away in U.K.

February 8, 2008

Climate change is leading some British botanists to conclude that winter is disappearing as a distinct season in the United Kingdom.

Scientists from the Kew Gardens said Friday that Britain's seasons appear to go from fall to spring with only a few wet and relatively mild months in between.

Their conclusions were based not only on temperature and rainfall but on plant behavior that has seen spring flowers and leaf buds on trees appearing what used to be the dead of winter.

"These are months earlier than the norm and given that they are species that have evolved in the vagaries of the English climate, the more remarkable, because one would expect them not to react so easily to milder weather in winter," said Nigel Taylor, curator of the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew.

The Scotsman said similar observations were coming out of botanical gardens as far north as Edinburgh.

Taylor told The Telegraph that Britain's many amateur gardeners might want to adjust their planting schedules accordingly.

Copyright 2008 by United Press International

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