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Track how spring is changing this Citizen Science Month

Want to do your part for Citizen Science this spring? You can pitch in by serving as an amateur climate scientist. When you record your experiences on ISeeChange, you are contributing to a global record of change and providing people in your community and around the world with information that helps them prepare for it.

Tell us what you see that is unusual and how that weirdness makes you feel. Compare what you’re seeing now to what ISeeChangers in your area saw in the past. If you’re not sure if what you’re seeing is strange, still post it! We can help find historical data to answer your questions.

Things that are “normal” are important to document too because they serve as points of comparison for when things get weird. It’s also interesting to compare what is normal in your area to what people consider normal in their part of the world.

Here are some signs of climate change to look for in the spring:

Early blooming

Spring is starting earlier and earlier as the climate changes. In Kyoto, Japan, cherry trees bloomed for the earliest time in over 1000 years this spring. When did you see your first blooms or leaves this year? What other things signify the start of spring in your area?

Additional sightings of early and mid-morning blooms in late January. Daffodils already up 4 inches, viburnum blooming for the past 2 weeks, carnellia’s (but depending on the variety here, that may not be unusual). Temps consistently above 45 degrees daytime, 40 degrees in evenings.

Rachel Molloy

Late freezes

With plants and animals shifting their spring schedules to account for early warmups, late freezes can be even more damaging because they come at times when the growing and life cycle are not prepared for the cold.

Plants were damaged by the frost.

TD 8672

Dry weather

When spring is too dry it can hurt agriculture and set up a severe wildfire season.

Beautiful, slightly chilly day. No rain in the forecast for April. The city is repairing the fire road in the park.

Lauren McNulty

Wet weather

Wet springs can cause flooding, especially when combined with snowmelt. They also can make planting hard for farmers.

Due to the unusually wet spring we have farmers in our area who never had the chance to put their crops in.

Erika Sladcik

Early heat

As the climate warms, heat waves are arriving earlier and earlier in the year. Tell us when you get your first 80-degree day and how you cope with the heat. Because heat can be invisible it’s often not documented as much as extreme events like hurricanes, but it is very dangerous and essential for us to better understand. Get creative — see how you can visualize the heat you’re experiencing.

Really hot today! It’s way above average here for this time of year. Some trees are even beginning to bud, which is way earlier than they should. Just about everyone is outside, enjoying the sun

Aidan Keefe

Earlier and harsher allergy seasons

Climate change is causing allergy seasons to start earlier in many places and cause more severe symptoms. If you’re an allergy sufferer, tell us how you’re faring this year.

Every year I think it’ll be “better,” then I’m rushing to the nearest drug store stock up on *all* allergy meds (benedryl was already out of stock!) 🙂

I think I’m usually well into a regiment of OTC allergy treatments by Memorial Day Weekend though! Interested that I made it this far into May

Katie Baur

No sighting is too small. Anything you see may provide a clue to how your local climate and environment are changing, so post it!