While it is easy to assume that climate change only comes in the form of rising oceans or extreme weather events, signs of global warming are all around us every single day.
An example of this comes from David Inouye, a researcher from the University of Maryland who studied when wildflowers and their pollinators began appearing around the Rocky Mountain Biological Lab. Diligent research over numerous decades revealed the species show up roughly two to three weeks earlier — mid-March as opposed to early April — than they did 30 years ago. In addition, birds also show up earlier and marmots end their winter slumber before they used to.
‘‘If the climate weren’t changing, we wouldn’t see these kind of changes happen,’’ explained Inouye, according to The Boston Globe.
It has been almost 30 years since scientists began analyzing global warming. Though the climate is the main focus, new studies show that all of nature has gone through shifts.
In fact, interviews with more than 50 scientists combined with an Associated Press analysis of data on plants, animals, pollen, ice, and sea levels show just how impactful the process is.
That research showed that there are 28,800 cases of plants and animals ‘‘responding consistently to temperature changes.’’ Blueberry patches at Walden Pond now bloom earlier as a result of warmer temperatures while many species come out of hibernation at different times.
Spring now occurs earlier than it used to, and fall starts much later on. All of those shifts have massive impacts on different ecosystems and radically change both animal and plant behavior.
It can affect humans as well. For instance, studies on ragweed growth shows that warmer springs lead to an increased number of high pollen days. Allergies and asthma are also both on the rise.
While climate change is not the only reason for these shifts, it is a primary factor and something scientists hope officials keep in mind moving forward.
‘‘If you don’t trust the thermometers, throw them out,’’ said Katharine Hayhoe, a climate scientist at Texas Tech, according to The Washington Post. ‘‘All we have to do is look at what’s happening in nature.’’