Or should it be “Earlier Spring”?
A couple of years ago I wrote about Amy Seidl’s Early Spring: An Ecologist and Her Children Wake to a Warming World. At that time I said,
There is some risk in Seidl’s approach. This is particularly true should a reader separate the many stories from the science. In the hands of some, her approach might reinforce the common tendency to discuss global warming in terms of anecdotal evidence: a hot day in winter “supports” the idea of global warming; a cold day in summer shows that global warming is “bunk.” But I think the risk is worth it in this case. If we are to adapt to our changing world and mitigate all but certain further deterioration, those of us who are not scientists need to develop informed intuitions to guide our everyday activity, to reinforce our individual efforts, large or small, and to inform our political decisions. It is exactly a book like Seidl’s that provides the non-specialist with a basis for those intuitions.
Recently, E. M. Wolkovich of the Division of Biological Sciences, University of California San Diego, and a host of others published a paper, “Warming experiments underpredict plant phenological responses to climate change,” that informs many of the issues Seidl was getting at.
Here’s how Leslie McCarthy of the Goddard Institute for Space Studies described the study.
The study of phenology, the timing of annual plant events such as the first flowering and leafing out of spring, provides one of the most consistent and visible responses to climate change. Long-term historical records, some stretching back decades and even centuries, show many species are now flowering and leafing out earlier, in step with rising temperatures. Because these records aren’t available everywhere and predicted future warming is often outside the range of historical records, ecologists often use controlled experiments that create warmer conditions in small plots to estimate how different species will respond to expected temperature increases.
While the paper is behind a Nature paywall the supplemental material, charts, graphs, and supporting data, aren’t.
If you have an interest in this and don’t want to pay for the paper, take a look at McCarthy’s summary and the supplemental material. If you don’t have an interest in this, It’s high time you developed one.
Via Climate Progress