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For Some Arctic Plants, Spring Arrives Almost a Month Earlier

Every spring, Arctic plants rely on direct and indirect cues from the environment — like warmer weather, longer days and shrinking sea ice cover — to tell them when they should awaken from winter’s slumber. But as the climate warms, these plants are getting mixed signals about when to rouse.

A caribou and her calf in Greenland. Shifting timing for the spring emergence of plants may affect the availability of nutritious food for herbivores in the Arctic, a study found. Credit Eric Post/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

In a new paper published in Biology Letters, researchers detail findings from a 12-year study of when plant species in the low Arctic region of Greenland first green up in the spring. Timing varied from plant to plant, but one speedy sedge species — a flowering, grasslike herb — stirred a full 26 days earlier than it did a decade ago.

The change corresponds to nearly an entire growing season, and breaks the record for the greatest shift in spring emergence that the scientists have observed in the Arctic.

Changes in growing seasons were associated with diminishing sea ice cover, which serves as a reminder that this loss may “have widespread effects on life on land,” said Jeffrey Kerby, an environmental studies researcher at Dartmouth College and an author of the study.

Shifting patterns of plant growth may affect the availability of nutritious food for herbivores, for example. Dr. Kerby and his colleagues found in 2013 that more caribou calves died early in years when spring plant growth preceded the animal’s calving season. [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