Coach House Geography

Interesting Geography stuff for InterHigh

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 14 other followers

Alec’ s first contribution: Warming Climate Chills Sonoran Desert’s Spring Flowers

Posted by Lindy on January 11, 2010


ScienceDaily (Dec. 20, 2009) — Global warming is giving a boost to Sonoran Desert plants that have an edge during cold weather, according to new research.

Although the overall numbers of winter annuals have declined since 1982, species that germinate and grow better at low temperatures are becoming more common.

“It’s an unexpected result — that global warming has led to an increase in cold-adapted species,” said lead author Sarah Kimball, a research associate at the University of Arizona in Tucson. “Because the winter rains are arriving later, they are occurring under colder temperatures.”

Climate change is shifting the winter storm track so the Sonoran Desert’s winter rains now generally begin in late November or early December, rather than during the balmy days of late October.

Therefore seeds that require winter rains must sprout during the cooler days of December.

“Southern Arizona has been getting hotter and drier for the last 25 or 30 years, and as a result, the desert annuals we’ve been studying at Tumamoc Hill have been changing,” said co-author D. Lawrence Venable, the UA’s director of research at Tumamoc Hill.

“Even though overall the winter growing season is getting warmer, what’s important in this system is that the growing season is initiated at a later date under colder temperatures,” Kimball said. “This demonstrates that the response of organisms to climate change can be unexpected.”

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: