worse than we thought – plants flowering!

Scientific models are failing to accurately predict the impact of global warming on plants, says a new report. Researchers found in long-term studies that some are flowering up to eight times faster than models anticipate.

The authors say that poor study design and a lack of investment in experiments partly account for the difference.

“If a whole plant community starts growing a week earlier than we expect according to these experiments, it’s going to take up a lot more water over the growing season and if you add to that many years of the model projections, you are going to see big changes in the water supply,” said Dr Elizabeth Wolkovich, who is now at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver.

where have all the ……..

“We now understand that the majority of life on Earth has never been – and will never be – known to us. In a staggering forecast, Wilson predicts that our present course will lead to the extinction of half of all plant and animal species by 2100. But the eminent Harvard biologist Edward O Wilson, and other scientists, estimate that the true rate is more like 1,000 to 10,000 times the background rate.”

“The actual annual sum is only an educated guess, because no scientist believes that the tally of life ends at the 1.5 million species already discovered; estimates range as high as 100 million species on earth, with 10 million as the median guess. Bracketed between best- and worst-case scenarios, then, somewhere between 2.7 and 270 species are erased from existence every day.”

“Including today.”
The Independent, 30 Apr 2007

invasion – Invasive plants


Higher average temperatures and changes in rain and snow patterns will enable some invasive plant species to move into new areas. Insect pest infestations will be more severe as pests such as mountain pine beetle are able to take advantage of drought-weakened plants. Pathogens and their hosts that thrive in higher temperatures will spread to new areas.

National Wildlife Federation website, 2014