Plants are flowering much, much faster than scientists predicted in response to climate change, United States research shows, which could have absolutely devastating effects on food chains and ecosystems. Global warming is having a significant, indirect impact on hundreds of plant and animal species around the world, changing breeding, migratory and feeding patterns.
This is just one of the many studies which highlights the not-so-obvious but just as deadly effects of global warming. Basically, an increase in the carbon dioxide concentration affects how plants produce oxygen, changing their behavior.
“Predicting species’ response to climate change is a major challenge in ecology,” said researchers at the University of California San Diego and several other U.S. institutions.
They explained plants have been the focus of the study because their response to climate change is perhaps the most important, affecting food chains and entire ecosystems, at the basis of which they lie. The study draws on evidence from plant-life cycle studies and experiments across four continents and 1,634 species. It found that some experiments had underestimated the speed of flowering by 8.5 times and growing leaves by four times. The study said:
“Across all species, the experiments under-predicted the magnitude of the advance – for both leafing and flowering – that results from temperature increases”.
While climate change and global warming are still a hot topic of debate, scientists estimate that temperatures have risen by 0.8 degrees since 1900, and by 0.2 per decade since 1979. So far, all efforts to stop and undo the effects of global warming have proven to be insufficient, as Earth seems to be heating up by over a degree since 1900, a threshold many believe is a dangerous one, which will probably lead to massive droughts, crop failures and rising sea levels.