Are the leaves changing color in your neighborhood? Are you noticing different birds in the area, or plants in bloom? These changes are all a reflection of Phenology – nature’s calendar. The USA National Phenology Network’s (NPN) website notes that “Phenology is a key component of life on earth.” They note that:
Changes in phenological events like flowering and animal migration are among the most sensitive biological responses to climate change. Across the world, many spring events are occurring earlier—and fall events are happening later—than they did in the past. However, not all species are changing at the same rate or direction, leading to mismatches. How plants and animals respond can help us predict whether their populations will grow or shrink – making phenology a “leading indicator” of climate change impacts.
You can help collect data just by observing nature around your neighborhood and sharing it to track changes and help inform the understanding of climate change impacts. Learn how you can contribute to this knowledge base at the USA-NPN website here: https://www.usanpn.org/partner/volunteer-scientists