Bioscience

Warming climate chills sonoran desert’s spring flowers

December 20, 2009

By Flinn Foundation

[Source: ScienceDaily] – 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.

For more information: Warming Climate Chills Sonoran Desert’s Spring Flowers