What are you doing about it?
In 2018, Spring is early in the west and east, but later than normal in the southeast. Overall, springs come earlier these days.
Generally, since 1900, spring has arrived a few minutes earlier every year, on average. But each spring is unique, and in 2018 variation covers almost 40 days, 20 days on either side of a “normal” spring arrival in a location.
The early spring arrival coincides with a slew of other odd weather trends happening across the globe, from a heat wave in the Arctic, where temperatures reached 43 degrees Fahrenheit in February, to a cold snap in Europe.
An early spring comes with consequences: Disease-carriers such as ticks and mosquitoes emerge sooner, the USGS warns, and it can trigger a longer, more intense pollen season. In addition, if flowers bloom earlier than normal, it “can disrupt the critically important link between wildflowers and the arrival of birds, bees, and butterflies” that is critical to the pollination of crops and other plants, the USGS wrote.
While generally these trackers show the earlier springs over decades, I am delighted by the dramatic variation in some places. Where we live in Dallas, for example, spring is delayed this year — according to the maps. Sure enough, last year most of our spring-blossoming trees were already abloom, only to lose blossoms for fruit in later winds and cold. See my post from last year on Mexican plums, link below. This year the Mexican plum is budded, but not blossoming yet.
In contrast, the daffodil/narcissus plants are up earlier than usual, some already blossoming. Again, in the past two years they’ve been even earlier.
- “Annals of Global Warming: Mexican plums blooming early in Dallas,” Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub, February 17, 2017
- “Earliest blooms recorded in U.S. due to global warming,” Christine Dell’Amore,National Geographic News, January 17, 2013
- “Northern Hemisphere sees in early spring due to global warming,” Tim Radford, The Guardian, March 1, 2017
- “Spring advancing at an ‘eye-opening’ pace in tangible sign of global warming,” Ian Johnston, The Independent, March 2, 2017
Tip of the old scrub brush to Yale Environment 360’s Twitter feed.