October 26, 2010

Global Warming Causing Wildflowers to Bloom Early

It only makes sense as climate change alters our temperatures, that plant life would adapt its life cycle in response. The Good Human reports:

University of Maryland ecologist David Inouye has been studying wildflowers in the Rocky Mountains near Crested Butte, Colorado for four decades, and has noticed that blooms have indeed begun earlier over the last decade. Aspen sunflowers, among other charismatic high country wildflowers, used to first bloom in mid-May, but are now are doing so in mid-April, a full month earlier. Inouye thinks that smaller snow packs in the mountains are melting earlier due to global warming, in turn triggering early blooms.

I can't say that I have noticed similar changes where I live, as each year there is such fluctuation. It's also interesting to consider the ability of wildflowers to migrate to higher elevations seeking climates similar to their original home; however, scientists fear some wildflower species will not be able to migrate fast enough. Seed saving efforts are underway.

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Posted by Jennifer Lance at October 26, 2010 2:10 AM

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