Observed changes in seasons: an overview

Authors

  • T. H. Sparks,

    Corresponding author
    1. NERC Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Monks Wood, Abbots Ripton, Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire PE28 2LS, UK
    • NERC Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Monks Wood, Abbots Ripton, Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire PE28 2LS, UK
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  • A. Menzel

    1. Lehrstuhl für Bioklimatologie und Immissionsforschung, Technical University of Munich, Am Hochanger 13, 85354 Freising, Germany
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Abstract

Within the last decade the study of phenology has taken on a new legitimacy in the area of climate change research. A growing literature reveals that a change in the timing of natural events is occurring in a wide range of locations and affecting a wide range of species. Changes in spring have been those most commonly reported, with the emphasis on an advance in spring linked to an increase in temperature. Detection of change in autumn is hampered by a smaller pool of available data, events that are harder to define (such as leaf coloration), and various influencing environmental factors triggering autumnal phases. Despite this, the general pattern may be towards a delay in autumn. Plant, animal and abiotic responses, especially in spring, are quite similar. Thus, it would appear that winter is being squeezed at both ends, and this effect, of increasing the growing season, should become more pronounced in the face of predicted global warming. Copyright © 2002 Royal Meteorological Society.

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