Is spring arriving earlier in parts of the Northern Hemisphere?

Sunday, April 11, 2021
By Jacob Alabab-Moser

Studies from recent years have confirmed that an effect of climate change is earlier appearances of spring in regions of North America, Europe and China. As a result of warmer temperatures, researchers have observed accelerations in natural springtime cycles, including events like leafing and blooming. One study also identified light pollution as a contributing cause of earlier leafing in trees.

Of 276 U.S. national parks examined by ecologists, 76% have been experiencing advancing springs, and 53% have been experiencing “extreme” early springs. Warmer temperatures have also led certain animal species to emerge from hibernation earlier.

Studies have also linked earlier “greening” of vegetation to other kinds of new climate phenomena like more frequent heat waves, dryer summer soils and modified rain patterns in Europe, as well as a decline in dust storms in northern China.

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