Spring has arrived, a whole month early, according to Dutch scientists! Indeed, your daffodils and daisies are blooming weeks before they're due, with climate change to blame. This revelation isn't sudden, however. Just last year, the UK's Proceedings of the Royal Society B had already flagged this very occurrence in a study.
Professor Arnold van Vliet published their findings in the scientific journal Nature this week, revealing that blooms like spearwort, yellow dogwood, snowdrops and crocus are already in full bloom.
And it's not just a hunch. Take the cheery yellow cornel, for instance. Back in the day, its first blooms wouldn't peek out until around mid-March. Now, they're strutting their stuff as early as February 18th! Blimey, that's a leapfrog.
"The trend is undeniable," confirms Leander de Wit, a meteorologist at Buienradar. "The weather's been unseasonably warm for weeks, mind you. We're talking daytime temperatures averaging 7°C this time of year, but lately, we've been seeing 10°C and above, and that's not supposed to change anytime soon."
But what's driving this floral frenzy? Turns out, December and January temperatures play a key role. When those winter months are warmer than usual, like this past one with an average of 5.4°C instead of the usual 3.9°C, it tricks the flowers into thinking spring is already here, prompting an early bloom.
So, while you might be enjoying the colourful spectacle a bit sooner than expected, remember, there's a bigger picture at play. This shift in blooming times can disrupt ecosystems and have knock-on effects for pollinators and other wildlife. Keep that in mind the next time you admire those early-bird blooms!