Global Warming Makes Spring Come Later?

Without a cold snap, vegetation takes longer to bloom down south
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 14, 2007 7:55 PM CST
The flowers are in full, aromatic bloom at the Hulda Klager Lilac Gardens in Woodland, Cowlitz County, Washington.   (KRT Photos)
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(Newser) – Global warming, a spark for spring's early arrival up north, appears to be delaying its appearance in southern states, the New Scientist reports. Southern leaves are coming later, not earlier, according to a Maryland researcher. "It's really surprising," says Xiaoyang Zhang of Earth Resources Technology. "Nobody had noticed how warming temperatures can delay the green-up."

Why the delay? Some plants may be unable to sprout without a cold snap, Zhang says—which is less common now in hotter climes. Below 31 degrees north, plants are blossoming 0.15 days later on average; above 40 degrees, 0.32 days earlier. The season reversal will likely upset farmers and lilac-peepers alike below the tipping-point 35th parallel. (Read more climate change stories.)