- In some parts of the Southeast, the spring of this year is the oldest on record.
- Spring is 24 days early in Washington, D.C., and New York.
- Not surprisingly, early spring is due in part to the exceptionally warm winter.
Spring has come.
After a mild winter, flowers are blooming and trees are being recorded earlier than ever in parts of the United States, scientists announced this week.
In parts of the Southeast, the spring of this year is the oldest of the 39 years that records have been kept, according to data from the National Phenology Network.
“The spring outing continues … three weeks earlier than the long-term average in some places,” the network said.
Places like Washington, D.C. and New York City are 24 days ahead; Philadelphia is 16 days ahead and Little Rock, Arkansas, 9 days ahead.
“Phenologists – who study seasonal phenomena in the natural world – calculate the beginning of spring on the basis of observations of” leaves “(the appearance of tiny leaves on trees), flowers for the active species at the beginning of spring (like lilac and honeysuckle) and weather events and temperature conditions, “reported the Guardian.
Unsurprisingly, early spring is due in part to the unusually warm winter: the American winter (December-February) was the sixth warmest on record, the The National Oceans and Atmosphere Administration was announced on Friday. NOAA records date back to 1895.
Last winter, all of the bottom 48 states were warmer than average, said NOAA, and 22 states had one of their 10 hottest winters.
While some people may rejoice in the heat of an early spring, it can cause problems in the natural world.
Changes in the timing of spring can affect human health, resulting in carriers of early season diseases such as ticks and mosquitoes, and an earlier, longer and more vigorous pollen season, US Geological said Survey.
In addition, if a longer growing season can result in higher yields for some crops, it is risky due to the higher likelihood of plant damage from late frosts or summer drought.
This year’s unusual heat is part of a long-term trend due in part to human-caused global warming.
“We have known for more than a decade now that climate change is varying the early spring in the United States,” US Geological Survey said.
This does not bode well for people with allergies this spring.
Last year, a University of Maryland study reported that “Man-made climate change disrupts nature’s timing, including when plants bloom and spring begins, and new research suggests that we we are increasingly paying the price in the form of seasonal allergies. ”