Britain's spring flowers are blooming all out of season lilacs, daffodils and camellias in November, crocuses in January.
The phenomenon is not restricted to Britain, though a new analysis there says some blooming flowers may be endangered by the earlier blooms, according to the Daily Telegraph.
It's no big secret why the plants are out of whack: The climate is warmer. Across the globe, and certainly in the United States, the growing season is longer, with the spring thaw coming earlier and the fall freeze coming later. That means blooming flowers are more apt to spring forth at the wrong time.
There are two basic reasons that can be a problem. One, a flower that blooms during early winter warmth will be susceptible to frosts that follow. Two, the blooming is out of sync with other natural occurrences that are reliant in one way or another on each other. For instance, a flower may bloom before the bee or butterfly that pollinates it emerges, leaving the flower unable to reproduce and the bug without a source of food.
This can upset the migrations of birds that, over millions of years of evolution, have timed their flights to the emergence of certain insects, leaving more than a few pretty flowers at stake. The scientific study of the timing of natural phenomena is called phenology, and while there's general concern about how global warming will affect the natural world by disrupting the evolutionarily calibrated rhythms of the natural world, many of the specific consequences are undocumented.
Enter your city or zip code to get your local temperature and air quality and find local green food and recycling resources near you.