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Fall in the UK took its time this year, making a grand entrance after a sun-drenched September. If you’re thinking that this late arrival of autumn is unusual, you’re right. But, it’s not just a one-off occurrence. Over the past few decades, we’ve witnessed a trend: seasons are shifting. And the most probable reason? Climate change.

Source: ABC10/YouTube

Historically, vegetation seasonality, like when leaves first appear in spring or fall in autumn, was a reliable way to mark seasons. These events are now shifting. Satellites have provided us with a bird’s eye view, letting us observe the vigor and life cycle of vegetation from space. And what have we discovered? The growing season has been extended by almost a month in just three decades.

This isn’t just a subtle change. It’s more pronounced in higher latitudes, where places like northern Russia’s larch forests see their growing season stretch by an extra day each year.

Extended growing seasons sound like good news, right? Longer periods for photosynthesis might mean more carbon uptake. However, it’s not all rosy. An earlier spring can put plants at risk from unexpected frosts and make them more susceptible to summer droughts. Remember Europe’s 2018 early spring? It kickstarted vegetation growth but led to rapid soil drying and intensified summer drought conditions.

So, what’s behind this seasonal shift? The rising global temperature, which has been climbing at a rate of 0.18°C every decade since 1981, plays a crucial role. With warmth, forests might experience increased photosynthesis, but the drier ground could hinder plants with shallower roots. Furthermore, we might see more “false autumns” as plants under stress shed their leaves early, just as the UK did in the 2022 heatwave.

Moreover, drier seasons escalate the risk of wildfires, a reality already observed in places like the northern Rockies in the US.

In a nutshell, Climate change is reshaping our seasons. The continuous stream of satellite data is a beacon, helping scientists measure and understand these shifts. As our world warms, the dance of our seasons adapts, reminding us of the deep connection between our planet’s health and our own.

Wake Up Climate Change Is Real by Tiny Rescue: Climate Collection
Wake Up Climate change Is Real by Tiny Rescue: Climate Collection

Wake Up Climate Change Is Real by Tiny Rescue: Climate Collection

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