Climate Change Throws Nature's Timing Out of Whack
"Evidence going back decades and sometimes even longer shows the timing of some biological events is shifting around the world. Studies document the progressively earlier arrival of spring, by about 2.3 to 5.2 days per decade in the last 30 years, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s 2007 report. That report lists studies showing changes in seasonal timing, or phenology, of the first and last leaves on gingko trees in Japan, butterfly emergence in the United Kingdom, bird migrations in Australia, the first leaves and flowers of lilacs in North America, among many others.
But not everything is changing together, leading to complex results.
During his years in the Colorado mountains, Inouye has seen the winter snow melt earlier, the result of warmer springs, less snowfall during the winter and more dust carried in by storms, which accelerates melting. The last frost, however, continues to happen at about the same time.”
via Live Science
Not All Migrating Birds Adjusting to Climate Change, Report Says
"Some birds are adjusting their migration patterns and adapting to climate change better than others, researchers found.
A study of bird flight patterns found that while some shift their migration as much as six days earlier in warmer weather, others are keeping the same habits, according to a report in the Public Library of Science.
Birds that aren’t adapting, like the Barn Swallow, could be threatened if the crop of insects they feed on aren’t available at the same time, for example, said Allen Hurlbert, the lead author, in a telephone interview.
“This is a new threat,” said Hurlbert, an assistant professor of biology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. “It’s an additional risk factor for the health of their population.”
Hurlbert’s study of 18 bird species is the first to examine the entire Eastern United States, he said. It’s also unique in using citizen bird watching data from more than 50,000 people logging into eBird, an online site created in 2002 by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the National Audobon Society.
On average, the birds shifted their migration almost a day earlier for every Celsius degree of warming spring temperature. Species that fail could be eliminated through natural selection.”