SOURCE: The Guardian
DATE: March 1, 2017
SNIP: Spring is arriving ever earlier in the northern hemisphere. One sedge species in Greenland is springing to growth 26 days earlier than it did a decade ago. And in the US, spring arrived 22 days early this year in Washington DC.
The evidence comes from those silent witnesses, the natural things that respond to climate signals. The relatively new science of phenology—the calendar record of first bud, first flower, first nesting behaviour and first migrant arrivals—has over the last three decades repeatedly confirmed meteorological fears of global warming as a consequence of the combustion of fossil fuels.
Researchers say the evidence from the plant world is consistent with the instrumental record: 2016 was the hottest year ever recorded, and it was the third record-breaking year in succession. Sixteen of the hottest years ever recorded have happened in the 21st century.