Warming experiments underpredict plant phenological responses to climate change

Researchers collecting data from a new climate change experiment near Boston. An NCEAS working group found that experiments may dramatically underestimate how plants will respond to climate change in the future. Their findings, published in Nature, indicate that shifts in the timing of flowering and leafing in plants due to global warming appear to be much greater than estimated by warming experiments. As a result, species could change far more quickly than such studies suggest, possibly affecting water supplies, pollination of crops and ecosystems.

Warming experiments underpredict plant phenological responses to climate change
E. M. Wolkovich, B. I. Cook, J. M. Allen, T. M. Crimmins, J. L. Betancourt, S. E. Travers, S. Pau, J. Regetz, T. J. Davies, N. J. B. Kraft, T. R. Ault, K. Bolmgren, S. J. Mazer, G. J. McCabe, B. J. McGill, C. Parmesan, N. Salamin, M. D. Schwartz and E. E. Cleland
Nature, 11014, May 2, 2012 (online)

UCSB press release
UCSD press release

Following is a sample of the media coverage of this study:
BBC News: Plants flower faster than climate change models predict
Greenwire: Experiments underestimate plants' response to warming -- study
NASA: Decades of data show spring advancing faster than experiments suggest
Reuters: Plant study flags dangers of warming world
Science: Plant experiments underestimate climate change effects
USA Today: Study: Climate change causes plants to flower earlier

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Posted on May 2, 2012