Out of Sync in a Warming World | WYPR

Out of Sync in a Warming World

Mar 6, 2017

The American Redstart, a migratory songbird
Credit Dan Pancamo/Flickr via Creative Commons

Spring seems to have arrived, after a winter that nearly wasn’t. The odd weather this season has a lot of us thinking about climate change. Today we focus on how climate change is altering seasonal events in the natural world: things like migration, hibernation, and pollination. The study of the timing of biological events like these is called phenology. And, as UMBC ecologist Colin Studds says, in nature, timing is everything. “If you think about the unrolling of leaves and blooming of flowers as the setting on the table," he says, "a lot of things depend on just that perfect timing: the insects that eat the leaves, the birds that eat the insects.” 

For more information on phenology and to sign up for citizen science projects related to phenology, visit the National Phenology Network.