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Very useful article in the Sunday SF Chronicle Home and Garden about measuring budding time of local trees, as a measure of increasing temperatures.  Everything from first robin to first leaf on the oak to  first crocus have been measured by some, for centuries.  Now, at Project BudBurst you can join in, and be a citizen scientist.

Temperature influences bud and bloom dates, and increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has been shown to cause earlier flowering. Study after study indicates a trend for these events to occur earlier in the year. Those Japanese cherries now bloom four days earlier than during the 1950s. The Marsham family’s oaks showed a trend toward earlier leafing-out between 1850 and 1950.

Animals tell similar stories: Egg-laying dates for North American tree swallows got earlier by an average of nine days over a 32-year period. Butterflies in the Central Valley are emerging from their chrysalides 24 days earlier than they did three decades ago.

Put it all together and you have what Parmesan and Wesleyan University economist Gary Yohe call “a globally coherent fingerprint of climate change impacts across natural systems.”

Read more:

Is there a Project BudBurst Mission Statement?

There sure is! Any national scale project worth its salt has to have a mission statement. Here is ours:


“Engage people from all walks of life in ecological research by asking them to share their observations of changes in plants through the seasons.”

Sometimes it is easier to remember a shorter version. You might prefer our mission statement in the form of a haiku:

People watching plants
Contributing to research
Join Project BudBurst

Consider this an invitation to be part of the growing Project BudBurst community. You can lend your voice to a plant so they can share their stories with others. You can make a difference. Sign up today and get started.