• International Insurance Blog

  • Thursday, February 22, 2018

  • Nature’s indicators of Global warming

    Filed Under:
    Author: Blog Contributor

Earlier spring arrival: Spring now arrives earlier in many parts of the world. Evidence of this comes from earlier thaw dates for rivers and lakes; earlier dates for plant blooming and leafing; and earlier animal egg-laying, spawning and migration. An earlier spring may disrupt animal migrations, alter competitive balances among species, and cause other unforeseen problems.

Plant and animal range shifts and population changes: Plants and animals generally react to consistently warmer temperatures by moving to higher latitudes and elevations. Recent studies reveal that some species have already started to shift their ranges, consistent with warming trends. Many populations and species may become more vulnerable to declining numbers or extinction if warming occurs faster than they can respond or if human development presents barriers to their migration.

Coral reef bleaching: Reefs in 32 countries experienced dramatic bleaching in 1997-98. Bleaching results from the loss of microscopic algae that both color and nourish living corals. Water that is warmer than normal by only 2 to 3 degrees F has been linked to bleaching.

Droughts and fires: As the climate heats up, droughts are expected to become more frequent and severe in some locations. Sustained drought makes wildfires more likely, and crops and trees more vulnerable to pest infestations and disease. Generally, local land use and land cover changes can exacerbate the climate change-driven increase in drought risk.

Have you noticed any of these?

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