Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Spring Arriving Weeks Early in Arctic

clipped from dsc.discovery.com
June 18, 2007 — Plants and animals in upper Greenland have adapted their lifecycles to the arrival of the Arctic spring several weeks earlier than a decade ago, according to a study released Monday.

In a study that underscored the impact of global warming on the northern polar region, researchers discovered that plant, insect and bird life native to the High Arctic had made dramatic seasonal cycle adjustments to the region's earlier snowmelt in the space of just 10 years.

In some cases, flowers are emerging from buds and chicks are hatching a full 30 days sooner than they did in the mid-1990s in response to sharply increased temperatures burning off the winter's snow layer.

Birds such as the Sanderling and the Ruddy Turnstone had moved their springtime rituals forward by an average of two weeks by 2005, compared to 1996.

Early Blooming
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