Over the past ten years, the growing season in the Netherlands has increased by nearly a month as a result of global warming. The average temperature has gone up by 1.3 degrees Celsius compared to the period 1940-1960, which scientists regards as representative.
The data were published by the Nature Calendar, a collaboration between the University of Wageningen and the nature radio programme Vroege Vogels (Early Birds), whose listeners have submitted more than 120,000 nature observations since 2001. In their report, the Wageningen scientists say that over the past ten years spring on average started more than 17 days earlier, while winter was about nine days late.
In 2008, the growing season started a record 31 days earlier than normal, while in 2006, trees were 20 days late to begin shedding their leaves. The onset of winter was also exceptionally late in 2001 and 2005. The past year was an exception to the trend of longer growing seasons. Spring started a week late, but so did autumn. This year, a very mild month of January has meant that nature in the Netherlands is about three weeks ahead of its normal schedule.
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