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How Is Climate Change Affecting the Arrival of Spring?

Tree_Swallow.jpg

We can usually tell spring is here by the weather. This year, it sure felt like winter was here for longer than usual. However, many other events signal spring: a robin singing, a wood frog chorus, daffodils in bloom. The timing of these natural phenomena is shifting because of climate change. Photo: Tree Swallow. James C. Leupold/USFWS

Other Climate Change Topics
Environmental Issues Spotlight10

The Effects of the Western Drought

Tuesday April 15, 2014

White-tail deer

The 2013-2014 winter will be remembered for being unusually cold and snowy in much of eastern North America. In the West, though, it was a different story. Many parts of California, Nevada, Oregon, Arizona, and New Mexico are going through a severe drought. Read more about the expected effects from that record drought.

Photo: White-tailed deer, like many wildlife species, can be hard hit by drought. Ryan Hagerty/USFWS.

Today's Top Environmental Issues

Monday April 14, 2014

Prairie_potholes

Environmental threats change over time. Wetlands were once converted to agriculture at a high rate, destroying habitat for numerous plants and animals. Now, wetlands such as these, in the prairie pothole region, are threatened by climate change. What do you thing are the top current environmental issues? Here is my take on it...read more.

Photo: Prairie potholes in South Dakota. Don Poggensee/USDA NRCS

It's Maple Syrup Time, Part II

Sunday April 6, 2014

As promised, here's an article examining whether sugar maples, and maple syrup production, are affected by climate change. The sugaring season here in New York is winding down, although we had a very nice sap run today. Soon the buds will start opening, changing the composition and abundance of sap. At that point, any syrup made would have a very poor taste. Enjoy the spring.

It's Maple Syrup Time!

Sunday March 30, 2014

Maple_syrup_jars

Here on the Allegheny Plateau the snow has been melting and the days are getting longer. It's sugaring time. The spring ritual of tapping sugar maple trees is here. We have been boiling sap down all weekend, reducing it 40 to 1 to make maple syrup. The window during which the sap runs is very short, maybe 2 or 3 weeks. This phenology event varies in timing from year to year, and old-time maple syrup producers have notice changes in the last few decades. Here's an article examining whether climate change is affecting the sugar maple stands of eastern North America, along with the maple syrup industry.

Photo: Hand-blown glass & maple syrup. F. Beaudry

 

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