A USGS press release today illustrates the value of long-term monitoring and data collection:
March 2012 set records for warm temperatures that promoted early leafing and flowering across large areas of the United States. A team of scientists at the USA National Phenology Network, which is sponsored by the U.S. Geological Survey, have published a study which shows that 2012 was the earliest spring over the 48 U.S. states since 1900 when systematic weather data began to be available for the entire area.
Read the full press release at www.usgs.gov
Observations by citizen scientists contribute to studies like this one by the USA National Phenology Network. Anyone can sign up to be an observer, and you can watch plants and animals that live and grow right in your own yard or neighborhood.
Read or download the study article at EOS, Transactions of the American Geophysical Union:
The False Spring of 2012, Earliest in North American Record (pdf, 1.37 MB)