An early spring has already taken hold in the Southeast and is working its way across the country, according to U.S. Geological Survey analysis that blames/credits climate change (choose one).
The Washington Post said the analysis released by the USA-Phenology Networks, which is funded by the U.S. Geological Survey, claimed that climate change has continued to advance the onset of spring across the country.
"There's actually some evidence that suggests that the timing of fall is changing, as well," said Jake Weltzin, executive director of the USA-National Phenology Network and an ecologist with the U.S. Geological Survey.
"That's a more complicated season; we don't have as much data, but we are seeing some changes, and we are trying to better understand and describe what those are. Spring is really the big one — it comes in with a bang."
Researchers with the USA Phenology Network said they have seen the advancing of spring for a decade, but in some areas the season as come as much as three weeks early.
"Here's a quick national overview: spring is now making an appearance in coastal California, southern Nevada, southeastern Colorado, central Kansas, Missouri, southern Illinois, Indiana and Ohio," said the network.
"And it's rolling up across West Virginia and Virginia, soon to hit Philly and Indianapolis, but it's already sprung – days ago – across the southern Great Plains and southeast Atlantic Coast, and it was 22 days early in Washington, D.C."
The Daily Mail said early springs can bring complications, like the early arrival of ticks and mosquitoes, and prolonged pollen season. Early plant blooms also could disrupt the relationship between wildflowers and pollinators, including birds, bees, and butterflies.
"While these earlier springs might not seem like a big deal – and who among us doesn't appreciate a balmy day or a break in dreary winter weather – it poses significant challenges for planning and managing important issues that affect our economy and our society," Weltzin said.
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