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Butterfly eggs hatching two weeks early due to Climate change in th UK

Climate change in the UK is pushing Spring forward, resulting in the disruption of butterflies, moths and birds. Studies have shown that these animals ae laying eggs two weeks earlier than they were in the mid-20th century. As a result of this, butterfly and moth eggs are hatching much earlier, and birds are laying their eggs sooner than they were back in 1967.

Climate scientists have been investigating this topic, and they have warned that wildlife could get out of sync with the life cycles of other species. North of the UK, climate changes may have different impacts on the species. This is because butterflies become active earlier in the warmer wetter west than the colder drier east.

Doctor James Bell who is the lead author of the Rothamsted Insect Survey has said ‘There was already good evidence that spring is coming earlier each year. But what we didn’t expect to find was that it was advancing as much in forests as it is in open areas such as grassland. Equally, in areas where we’d expect to see much greater acceleration, such as urban parkland, the rates of advance appear to be the same. This all points to a complex picture emerging under climate change, which makes ecosystem responses hard to predict, and even harder for conservationists to prepare for. The work is important because it shows us that we cannot rely on habitat to slow down climate change impacts, even in woodlands and forests where the conditions are more stable, and which were expected to buffer against adverse changes.’

 

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