Winters Were Colder in Your Parents' Day: New England Trees Get 10 Days More Growing Season Than Pre-1970

new hampshire climate 2100 image
A symptom of changing climate, Worldwatch shows us that not only are winters in New England averaging three degrees warmer than they did 100 years ago, trees have a ten day longer growing season than they did 40 years ago. And that's not it.

According to the New England Society of American Foresters because of the warming, spring is arriving earlier and rivers are flowing at peak levels sooner than observed before.

The big deal in this is that (as the image at left shows), under projected high emission scenarios in another sixty years the climate in New Hampshire could well be like that of North Carolina today. Even on low emission growth scenarios, things will be more like Virginia is today.As to the impact,

[Dave Orwig, forest ecologist at the Harvard Forest] reported that a warmer New England climate would put native habitats and wildlife at increasing risk and force many species to migrate north in order to survive - something trees can do over time, but not necessarily quick enough for forest ecosystems to remain healthy. Climate change could also threaten non-timber forest products such as maple syrup and ecosystem services such as clean water.

More: Worldwatch
image: Union of Concerned Scientists
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