In 2017 Spring, sprung 26 days earlier in the northern hemisphere than it did a decade ago.
Why is Spring starting earlier?
The recorded dates of the first bud, flower, sign of nesting behavior and first migrant arrivals has confirmed meteorological fears of global warming as a consequence of the combustion of fossil fuels and other anthropogenic emissions.
For the third consecutive year, record-breaking temperatures were recorded in 2016 and scientists say human activity is to blame!
According to a study in Biology Letters , the High Arctic is the fastest-warming place on the planet and shows the most dramatic changes. It is thought that as the polar sea retreats the Spring will continue to arrive earlier and stay for longer.
What are the consequences of an early Spring?
Eric Post, a polar ecologist at the University of California Davis department of wildlife noted in 2008 and 2013 the ways in which changes are affecting caribou (reindeer). The Caribou use the brief Arctic summer to graze on rich plant life. The caribou set their migration calendar by day-length as opposed to the plants they eat, which respond to temperature. This change in the calendar means that the plants have begun flourishing too early to feed the Caribou. The pickings available for the Caribou upon their arrival are not offering enough nutrients. Less calves are born and more calves will die.
But how will early Spring affect me?
Some of the most direct effects of the change will be seen in the form of:
- Mosquitoes and ticks become increasingly active
- Pollen seasons start earlier and last longer
- Unseasonal frost or summer droughts could destroy crops
- Plants bloom before the butterflies, bees and birds arrive to pollinate flowers
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