Nature

U.S. Geological Survey Says Spring is Coming Early This Year

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Even though Punxsutawney Phil, the famous season-predicting groundhog saw his shadow and called for more winter, the latest U.S. Geological Survey says that the spring season has been coming sooner and sooner each year. The Washington Post writes that the survey pulled information gathered from the USA-National Phenology Network. They say, “climate change is variably advancing the onset of spring across the United States.”

The study uses temperature data along with information about blooming and leafing plants to create an algorithm for determining when spring has sprung. The Washington Post notes that a similar study was also used by the Ecological Society of America who published a piece in their journal last October that said, “Many U.S. national parks are already at the extreme warm end of their historical temperature distributions.” They’ve seen that in national parks, “spring is advancing in approximately three-quarters of parks (76%), and 53% of parks are experiencing ‘extreme’ early springs that exceed 95% of historical conditions.”

Weather experts warn that although many people rejoice in seeing signs of an early spring, it’s a major sign of climate change that will keep perpetuating. Also, an early spring historically leads to late summer droughts or sudden freezes, which cause damage to agriculture.