Spring Is Arriving Earlier In Polar Regions Than Rest Of The World

Posted: Mar 2 2018, 2:49pm CST | by , Updated: Mar 2 2018, 11:28pm CST, in Latest Science News


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Spring is Arriving Earlier in Polar Regions Than Rest of the World
Credit: Eric Post/UC Davis

As the world warms, spring is arriving earlier, but the timing is not consistent everywhere

We have already known that climate change is causing early onset of spring on Earth. Now the latest study has revealed just how ahead of schedule spring is in a location.

Researchers say that the start of spring weather varies from one location to another. Every 10 degrees you move north from the equator, spring arrives about four days earlier than it did a decade ago. In cities like Los Angeles, New Orleans or Dallas springtime will likely arrive about a day earlier than in ten years ago.

These cities are located in southern to mid-latitudes. But if we go to the farther north, in Seattle, Chicago, or Washington DC, the spring might be arriving four days earlier.

Spring may come far ahead of schedule in some places. For example, people living in the Arctic might welcome spring as much as 16 days earlier.

“This study verifies observations that have been circulating in the scientific community and popular reports for years," said lead author Eric Post, a polar ecologist in the UC Davis Department of Wildlife, Fish and Conservation Biology. "Yes, spring is arriving earlier, and the Arctic is experiencing greater advances of spring than lower latitudes. What our study adds is that we connect such differences to more rapid springtime warming at higher latitudes."

Researchers analyzed 743 previously published estimates of springtime arrival across the Northern hemisphere spanning 86 years. They also looked at the rates of Northern Hemisphere warming over the same period and latitude and found a strong link between earlier spring and locations at higher latitudes.

The study is the most comprehensive analysis yet of springtime advance, or what researchers call phenology.

While changes in the timing of spring may not seem a big deal, they can affect human health and could bring many types of diseases. Flowers blooming earlier can also unsettle the pollen season as they force birds, bees, and butterflies to arrive much earlier than anticipated.

“Advancing spring phenology constitutes one of the most well studied and oft-cited examples of ecological response to recent climatic warming.” Authors wrote in the study.

“Examples of earlier onset of spring events span a broad array of life history traits and taxonomic groups, including plants, invertebrates, amphibians, birds, and mammals across most of Earth’s biomes.”

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/47" rel="author">Hira Bashir</a>
The latest discoveries in science are the passion of Hira Bashir (). With years of experience, she is able to spot the most interesting new achievements of scientists around the world and cover them in easy to understand reporting.




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