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Warmer Spring Brings Troubling Consequences

The transition from winter to spring is one many of us look forward to. We can wear fewer layers, start playing more sports outdoors and finally put the snow shovel back in the shed.

Spring is off to a warm start.
Credit: © Tatiana Morozova

Although winter lingered in some parts of the country this year, spring is already heating up and scientists see the character of spring changing over the longer term. Such changes go beyond just the temperature — with significant consequences.

In the United States, March temperatures have grown hotter by just over 2 degrees Fahrenheit, on average, since reliable record-keeping began in the 1880s. Similarly, the first leaves have started appearing on plants several days earlier than they used to across the country.

I recently worked with three scientists who are studying the effects of warmer springs on snow cover, biological systems and allergens to help shed light on what an earlier, warmer spring actually means.

Snow cover on the decline

Snow pack, which builds over the winter, begins melting in the spring and is a major water source, especially in the drier summer months. Strong, reliable melting and runoff are critical for agriculture and reducing wildfire risks. However, warmer temperatures are leading to a decline in snow cover (a measure of how much land is covered by snow). [weiter]

 

 

 

The disruption of established weather patterns has put strawberries on festive menus in France, ensured an abundance of game in Germany's woodlands and seen tomatoes ripen for an exceptional third time this year on Italian balconies.

With grass still growing in the north of Scotland well into December, the famous Royal Dornoch links put the traditional switch to winter greens on hold and kept its mowers buzzing into the final days of 2015.

But alongside the serendipitous consequences for gourmets and golfers, unusual climatic conditions have also been linked to more unsettling trends.

Scientists and gardeners alike fret over whether this year reflects a worrying new normal created by .

More than 2,000 wildfires have ravaged swaths of northern Spain in recent weeks thanks to a combination of unusually warm weather and high winds.



Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2016-01-europe-winter-warmth-nature-tailspin.html#jCp

The disruption of established weather patterns has put strawberries on festive menus in France, ensured an abundance of game in Germany's woodlands and seen tomatoes ripen for an exceptional third time this year on Italian balconies.

With grass still growing in the north of Scotland well into December, the famous Royal Dornoch links put the traditional switch to winter greens on hold and kept its mowers buzzing into the final days of 2015.

But alongside the serendipitous consequences for gourmets and golfers, unusual climatic conditions have also been linked to more unsettling trends.

Scientists and gardeners alike fret over whether this year reflects a worrying new normal created by .

More than 2,000 wildfires have ravaged swaths of northern Spain in recent weeks thanks to a combination of unusually warm weather and high winds.



Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2016-01-europe-winter-warmth-nature-tailspin.html#jCpAlthough winter lingered in some parts of the country this year, spring is already heating up and scientists see the character of spring changing over the longer term. Such changes go beyond just the temperature — with significant consequences.Although winter lingered in some parts of the country this year, spring is already heating up and scientists see the character of spring changing over the longer term. Such changes go beyond just the temperature — with significant consequences. [weiter]

The disruption of established weather patterns has put strawberries on festive menus in France, ensured an abundance of game in Germany's woodlands and seen tomatoes ripen for an exceptional third time this year on Italian balconies.

With grass still growing in the north of Scotland well into December, the famous Royal Dornoch links put the traditional switch to winter greens on hold and kept its mowers buzzing into the final days of 2015.

But alongside the serendipitous consequences for gourmets and golfers, unusual climatic conditions have also been linked to more unsettling trends.

Scientists and gardeners alike fret over whether this year reflects a worrying new normal created by .



Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2016-01-europe-winter-warmth-nature-tailspin.html#jCp

The disruption of established weather patterns has put strawberries on festive menus in France, ensured an abundance of game in Germany's woodlands and seen tomatoes ripen for an exceptional third time this year on Italian balconies.

With grass still growing in the north of Scotland well into December, the famous Royal Dornoch links put the traditional switch to winter greens on hold and kept its mowers buzzing into the final days of 2015.

But alongside the serendipitous consequences for gourmets and golfers, unusual climatic conditions have also been linked to more unsettling trends.

Scientists and gardeners alike fret over whether this year reflects a worrying new normal created by .



Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2016-01-europe-winter-warmth-nature-tailspin.html#jCp[read more]
The disruption of established weather patterns has put strawberries on festive menus in France, ensured an abundance of game in Germany's woodlands and seen tomatoes ripen for an exceptional third time this year on Italian balconies.

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2016-01-europe-winter-warmth-nature-tailspin.html#jCp
The disruption of established weather patterns has put strawberries on festive menus in France, ensured an abundance of game in Germany's woodlands and seen tomatoes ripen for an exceptional third time this year on Italian balconies.

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2016-01-europe-winter-warmth-nature-tailspin.html#jCpvsvssdasd
The disruption of established weather patterns has put strawberries on festive menus in France, ensured an abundance of game in Germany's woodlands and seen tomatoes ripen for an exceptional third time this year on Italian balconies.

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2016-01-europe-winter-warmth-nature-tailspin.html#jCp