Arctic Spring a Month Earlier than a Decade Ago
In yet another indication of the abrupt and serious warming occurring in the Arctic, researchers have found that Arctic spring has moved a month earlier in only a decade [more]. “Rising temperatures are causing snow to melt sooner than before, extending the summer period and dramatically disrupting the fragile ecosystem… They recorded a clear shift in the time of year plants came into flower, birds laid their first eggs and insects and other creatures emerged to forage for food.” Such patterns in the timing of annual biological and ecological events are called phenology [search], and these dramatic changes in phenology in an extremely short period of time reinforces the fact that something dramatic, awry and scary is happening with the Arctic's climate [search]. Changing phenology consistent with global heating is evident to a lesser extent around the world, as spring has generally advanced by 5.1 days a decade for animals and plants around the world, and 2.5 days a decade for European plants. In a geological or evolutionary time frame, these are amazinging dramatic and fast rates of change. And herewithin lies the greatest potential harm from human-induced climate change — that ecosystems will simply be unable to respond fast or well enough to essentially completely different climate regimes. Clearly the Arctic region's dramatic changing seasonality and loss of sea ice is the canary in the heatwave as far as indicating humanity and the Earth have a serious global warming problem that must be addressed strongly now.