Scientists: Seasons May Change Due to Global Warming

CLAYTON, Australia, Sept. 14 (UPI) — Australian and U.K. scientists studying global warming say botanical calendars in many parts of the Earth may eventually move out of sync with the seasons.

The study into the impact of global warming on spring flowering was led by Malcolm Clark of Monash University and Professor Roy Thompson of the University of Edinburgh.

“Already there is a great deal of observational evidence of regional changes in climate associated with global warming,” said Clark. “We have not only seen an earlier breakup of ice on rivers and melting glaciers, but also the early emergence of insects, egg laying by birds and the flowering of plants. This new model allows us to refine predictions of the future impact of warming on plant and animal life across much of the world.”

Clark and Thompson predict likely changes in spring flowering in Scotland based on three potential global warming scenarios. For every 1-degree Celsius of climate warming, they predict spring flowering will begin approximately 11 days earlier.

Using their results, the scientists constructed a global map that demonstrates “desynchronization” of plant and animal life in the year 2080. The map shows maritime climates including Western Europe, the American Atlantic coast, New Zealand, Chile and North Africa will be the greatest affected as their botanical calendar moves strongly out of sync with the seasons.

The study is reported in the International Journal of Climatology.

Copyright 2009 by United Press International

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