Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Study predicts effect of global warming on spring flowers

21.09.2009
An international study involving Monash University mathematician Dr Malcolm Clark has been used to demonstrate the impact of global warming and to predict the effect further warming will have on plant life.

The study, published in the International Journal of Climatology, predicts a difference in flowering times of certain plants in certain climates by as much as 50 days by the year 2080.

The study, by Dr Malcolm Clark, an Adjunct Research Fellow at Monash University's School of Mathematical Sciences and Professor Roy Thompson, a geophysicist at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, investigated the possibilities of flowering spring plants blooming in the depths of winter as the plants respond to the effects of global warming.

The study is based on the facts that plants control the timing of flowering by adapting to the local weather and climate and that throughout the past century global warming, driven by ever rising atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations, has resulted in local climate changes which are likely to steadily increase.

"Already there is a great deal of observational evidence of regional changes in climate associated with global warming," Dr Clark said. "We have not only seen an earlier break up of ice on rivers and melting glaciers, but earlier flowering of plants. This new model allows us to refine predictions of the future impact of warming on plant and animal life across much of the world."

Dr Clark and Professor Thompson worked from a wealth of old records from the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, which started in 1850. They also analysed records of Edinburgh's climate from records dating back to 1775. With this information they investigated the responses of 79 species of plant to air temperatures.

Using this data, they established the relationship between air temperature and first flowering date and have used their new statistical model to predict likely changes in spring flowering in Scotland based on three potential global warming scenarios. For every 1 o C that the climate warms they predict that spring flowering will begin approximately 11 days earlier. For an increasingly oceanic climate (greater winter than summer warming) their model predicts shifts in the botanical season ranging between 16 days at the start of spring and 12 days at the end of spring. For an increasingly continental climate predictions range between 7 days at the start of spring and 11 days at the end of spring.

Clark and Thompson checked the results of their statistical model with other data sets from across the world, indicating that their results are not limited to one country. "Although the study is based on plant life in Scotland, our phenological models apply across regions spanning hundreds of thousands of square kilometres," Dr Clark said.

Using their results Dr Clark and Professor Thompson have been able to construct a global map demonstrating 'desynchronisation' of plant and animal life in the year 2080. The map shows that maritime climates including Western Europe, the American Atlantic coast, New Zealand, Chile and North Africa will be the greatest effected as the botanical calendar will move strongly out of sync with the seasons with temperature-sensitive plants flowering up to 50 days earlier than now, with significant ecological repercussions.

For more information or to arrange an interview, contact Samantha Blair Media & Communications +61 3 9903 4841 or 0439 013 951.

Samantha Blair | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.monash.edu.au

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht New study: How does Europe become a leading player for software and IT services?
03.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)

nachricht Reusable carbon nanotubes could be the water filter of the future, says RIT study
30.03.2017 | Rochester Institute of Technology

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Fighting drug resistant tuberculosis – InfectoGnostics meets MYCO-NET² partners in Peru

28.04.2017 | Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Wireless power can drive tiny electronic devices in the GI tract

28.04.2017 | Medical Engineering

Ice cave in Transylvania yields window into region's past

28.04.2017 | Earth Sciences

Nose2Brain – Better Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis

28.04.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>