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Climate warming bringing spring earlier each year is affecting moth’s behaviour

A study of UK weather has fond that climate change is shifting spring forward, with insects and birds nesting earlier than they did 50 years ago. These finding came from a new study of data collect between 1960 and 2010.

The research shows insects such as moths, butterflies and aphids are flying much earlier than they did in the mid-20th century. How much of a shift is very much dependant on where in the UK the insects reside and what kind of habitat they are in. Scientists and researchers have warned that variations in how different groups of animals behaviour is changing, means these groups of wildlife’s life cycles could get out of sync with the species they rely on for food. The study also suggests that wildlife in habitats such as woodlands will not be protected which previously had thought to give relatively stable conditions and this could be due to a rise in temperature and a shift in the seasons.

Study leader Dr Stephen Thackeray, of the UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, said: “Our previous research has shown that, in the UK, many signs of spring have been shifting earlier over the last few decades and that this is likely to be driven by climatic change. However, we have never before had such a detailed picture of how these changes vary across the UK and its major habitats.”

The 50 year study built up a detailed picture the revealed responses by species to climate change is not as straightforward as first thought. For example, moths that turn to caterpillars to adults earlier in the year seem to be more a lot more affected and responsive to climate change to moths that transition through the life-cycle later in the year. In addition, in the north of the UK, different species are impacted in different ways, like butterflies which become more active in the west than the east.

Certainly an interesting study with interesting results.

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