Spring to come three weeks earlier to the United States

October 13, 2015
Credit: Notneb82, Wikimedia Commons

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, in the journal Environmental Research Letters, have long term implications for the growing season of plants and the relationship between 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 .

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."

The researchers also investigated so-called 'false springs' - when freezing temperatures return after spring plant growth has begun. They showed that these events will decrease in most locations. However a large area of the western Great Plains is projected to see an increase in false springs. "This is important as false springs can damage plant production cycles in natural and agricultural systems" continues Allstadt. "In some cases, an entire crop can be lost."

These researchers are working on a NASA Biodiversity Grant, with the goal of assisting people working in conservation of public land in the US. As such, the researchers have provided much of their data freely on their website: http://silvis.forest.wisc.edu/

"We are expanding our research to cover all kinds of extreme weather, including droughts and heat waves" concluded Allstadt. "We are particularly interested in how these affect bird populations in wildlife refuges."

Explore further: Plant phenologists ask, "You call this spring?"

More information: 'Spring plant phenology and false springs in the conterminous US during the 21st century' Environmental Research Letters 10 104008, Wednesday 14 October, iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/10/10/104008

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Shootist
2.4 / 5 (14) Oct 13, 2015
"The climate models used by alarmist scientists to predict global warming are getting worse, not better; carbon dioxide does far more good than harm; and President Obama has backed the "wrong side" in the war on "climate change."" -- Freeman Dyson

It's nice to know the unimpeachable Freeman Dyson is on the right side of history.

The polar bears will be fine.
Returners
1.8 / 5 (10) Oct 13, 2015
The Polar Bears will be fine.
Worst case scenario we could relocate them to Antarctica, where htey could hunt seals and penguins.
Benni
2.8 / 5 (16) Oct 13, 2015
Last week I heard on the Weather Channel this would happen because there was an El Nino forming in the Pacific. This would result in a milder winter for the US & rain enough the relieve the Calif drought........all bad news of course for the AGW crowd who myopically cheer for drought everywhere it happens.
thermodynamics
3.8 / 5 (10) Oct 13, 2015
Last week I heard on the Weather Channel this would happen because there was an El Nino forming in the Pacific. This would result in a milder winter for the US & rain enough the relieve the Calif drought........all bad news of course for the AGW crowd who myopically cheer for drought everywhere it happens.


Benni: Would you be so kind as to give us links to those who are part of the "AGW crowd" and who are cheering for drought? I think you are just blowing smoke, but a few good links would demonstrate that you are a lot smarter than you seem in your posts.
antigoracle
2.7 / 5 (12) Oct 14, 2015
Hmm... I wonder how the plants and birds survived the MWP, when it was way hotter.

The AGW Cult... we can find the grey lining in every cloud.
verkle
Oct 14, 2015
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
Minnaloushe
not rated yet Oct 14, 2015
It's a pity that dogmatists on either side have wrecked the "science" in "climate science". The taint of their irrationality, their ranting, their lies, and their bald financial and political motivations have made me agnostic on the subject.
thermodynamics
4.3 / 5 (6) Oct 14, 2015
Minnaloushe said:
It's a pity that dogmatists on either side have wrecked the "science" in "climate science". The taint of their irrationality, their ranting, their lies, and their bald financial and political motivations have made me agnostic on the subject.


When talking about science, everyone should be agnostic and not have a devotion to any concept. There is climate science being discussed by those who understand science on this site. However, there are also fanatics that have agendas (libertarianism, religion, tax cuts, minimal impact on them...etc.) You should be able to discern the difference in the comments. Stay agnostic and pay attention to the science and you will get knowledge out of it. There are some people on this forum that really do know the science and try to put that forward.
geokstr
2.3 / 5 (3) Oct 19, 2015
There is climate science being discussed by those who understand science on this site. However, there are also fanatics that have agendas (libertarianism, religion, tax cuts, minimal impact on them...etc.)


That's really interesting that you assume everyone who disagrees with you has nefarious motivations, like religion, or self-interest, but no one on your side has an agenda. It must be because you and all the "environmentalists" and liberals are pure of heart, and would never be swayed by crass things like money, fame, power, greed, or totalitarian ideologies. How selfless.

That must be why all the "solutions" to AGW, just coincidentally of course, will result in a tremendous loss of personal freedoms, a vast expansion of government power and control, a huge increase of income re-distribution, throttling successful economies, and population control, i.e., a Marxist wet dream.

Like it or not, totalitarian politics has hijacked AGW.
SuperThunder
2.3 / 5 (3) Oct 20, 2015
We barely have Winter here now as it is. When I was a Young Thunder, Winter nights could get down in the negative double digits(F), now if it hits zero(F) everyone is screaming "climate warmoglobofalseHOAXGODJESUSITSCOLD!" It's ridiculous how selective memories are. Also, most of the biodiversity here (I live near forests) is just straight up gone.

I don't really like the cold, though, so what the heck, bring horrific tornado season a few weeks early, hooray. Also, Young Thunder didn't experience the 115(F) degree spikes in the Summer that we get now.

This is anecdotal and should not be used as an argument for or against climate change. There's plenty of global data that does that better. I'm just being nostalgic.

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