In countries with seasons, the leaves that begin to sprout on the trees or the small flowers that emerge from the snow are the first indicators that winter is ending and the days of spring are beginning.
Early Spring in US
This is the situation that, in advance, several states and cities in the United States are experiencing. In New York, for example, spring was 32 days earlier than historical records. In Baltimore, Maryland, the station arrived 20 days early, and in Louisville, Kentucky, it was brought forward three weeks.
Some of these regions record the earliest spring conditions on record, according to the National Phenology Network, which has been estimating the arrival of spring throughout the United States for 40 years.
“It is something disturbing, something that is outside the normal limits of spring. It may not be surprising, given the trajectory our planet is on, but it is when you live it,” said Teresa Crimmins, director of the National Phenology Network and an environmental scientist at the University of Arizona, in statements collected by The Guardian
The phenomenon, which has been felt most intensely in the southern and southeastern states of the United States, is already beginning to reach cities located further north, such as the capital, Washington, where the cherry trees have already begun to sprout, which could set a record for early blooming in the last 30 years, according to the National Park Service.
Climate change play out in real time
However, just as the onset of spring came earlier in some cities in the eastern US, it has been delayed in others. In California and Arizona, to name two cases, the National Phenology Network indicates that spring is “days to weeks” late.
Crimmins, the director of this Network, has another way of explaining it: “This year, the United States has been clearly split in half, and the eastern half is much further along in terms of spring.” But she also expressed concern.
“Almost everyone I talk to about this has this existential anxiety that we’re seeing climate change play out in real time,” the researcher said. And it is that although for many people having a less cold winter and a longer spring can be synonymous with joy, for scientists who have been studying the climate, it is not.
“Everything has gone awry, species that have evolved together for millennia are now out of place. Everything has a cascading effect that goes beyond the loss of the cherry blossom season,” summed up Deborah Landau, director of ecological management at the Nature Conservancy, said.
Risk of frost and frost
AccuWeather long-range forecasters believe there is a risk of frost and frost later than normal across much of the eastern United States, including many areas that have reported budding and freezing. early flowering plants.
The trend of milder winters and earlier springs may also lead to more rodent and insect problems for crops, as they can go through more life cycles in a year, experts say.
“We’re not going to see an earlier spring every year,” Rosemartin said, “it’s just more likely with climate change, that we’re going to see a warmer winter and an earlier spring.”
An earlier spring may also have health effects for millions of Americans with allergies.
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