Spring Is Springing Sooner, Throwing Nature’s Rhythms Out Of Whack

There’s a cycle that starts when the snow melts and the earth thaws high in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains. It’s a seasonal cycle based on timing and temperature, two variables that climate change is pushing increasingly out of sync.

To the outsider, it can be hard to see: Plants still grow, flowers bud, bears awake, and marmots breed. Broad-tailed hummingbirds still trill around the landscape with flowery meadows and granite peaks.

But those who know this ecosystem will tell you something is a little off. The flowers are blooming earlier. The marmots are mating earlier in May. Spring is springing sooner across the Northern Hemisphere, changing natural cycles around the world.

One of the consequences of climate change is that even though everything is happening earlier, they’re not changing at the same rate.

The results can be seen all around. Flowers are blooming before there are bees to pollinate them. Hard frosts are still occurring long after winter’s snow melts away, decimating fruit orchards and budding plants. Allergy season is getting longer.

Some plants and wildlife, taking their thermal cue, have been able to adapt in kind. Some are thriving. Others, however, are being left behind.

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