Unprecedented threat found in flowering plants

(ORDO NEWS) —  The trend towards earlier flowering of plants could be an unprecedented threat to ecological and agricultural systems, scientists from the University of Cambridge have found. Excerpts from the study leads The Guardian.

The authors concluded that the phenomenon is directly related to global climate change. As a result of shifting the timing of flowering, plants become defenseless against possible late frosts, which can kill them and thereby deprive farmers of the harvest.

However, the main problem, according to the lead author of the study, Ulf Büntgen, is the so-called “environmental mismatch”. It lies in the fact that the life cycles of plants and wintering or migratory insects, birds and wild animals no longer coincide.

Such a mismatch, in the absence of rapid adaptation to new conditions, threatens the death of many species. The problem is already affecting orchids and bees, as well as great tit chicks and caterpillars.

The researchers looked at 420,000 recorded UK first bloom dates for more than 400 species dating back to 1793. They found that the average date was around May 12, but since 1986, when global warming had already begun, it has shifted to April 16.

In addition, spring arrived 42 days earlier in 2019 than the pre-1986 average, which scientists say is a highly worrying sign of significant climate change.

Herbaceous plants began to bloom an average of 32 days earlier, trees “accelerated” by 14 days, and shrubs by 10 days. Researchers believe that rapidly multiplying herbaceous plants are able to more easily adapt to a warming climate, which was provoked by human activities.

Büntgen believes that the example of the early flowering of plants can clearly see how rapidly the planet is warming due to global warming.

“Shifting the flowering time of plants by a month is no longer some abstract figure. We all understand what a month is, especially if we are waiting for the next salary to be paid to us, ”he said.

Human economic activity is the main factor in increasing the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, which intensify climate change.

The nations of the world are now striving to slow the annual temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius by reducing carbon emissions.


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