Climate Change: Early Flowering in UK.

2 Feb 2022.


According to  a study, climate change is causing plants in United Kingdom (UK) to flower almost a month earlier on average.


  • Due to warmer weather, autumn leaf has started to fall and flowers are appearing earlier on shrubs and trees.
  • Though some are welcoming these untimely blooms, scientists are warning of climate risks.
  • If the trend continues, there are knock-on effects for insects, birds, and whole ecosystems.

Risk of Ecological mismatch

  • Untimely flowering might lead to ecological mismatch.
  •  It would have a dramatic effect “on functioning and productivity” of farming and nature.
  • Global warming is resulting into early arrival of spring and late arrival of autumn in many places.
  • Not all animals and plants are adapting at the same rate.
  •  If these species get out of sync with each other, it could lead to ecological mismatch.

Risk associated with food resources

  • Pollen, seeds, nectar and fruits of plants are important food resources for birds, insects and other wildlife.
  •  If flowers appear too early, they can be hit by frost.
  • Thus, harvest of fruit trees can be damaged.

Nature’s calendar

  • Study considered hundreds of thousands of observations of first flowering dates of native trees, herbs, shrubs, and climbers, which were recorded in a citizen science database called Nature’s Calendar. It goes back to the 18th Century.
  • The study encompassed whole of UK and Northern Ireland.
  • Researchers compared the first flowering dates of 406 plant species and found that, early flowering is correlated with rising global temperatures.

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