When spring sprang forwards

Discuss the greatest threat to amateur astronomy today

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brian livesey
Posts: 5879
Joined: Mon Jan 09, 2006 11:05 am
Location: Lancashire

When spring sprang forwards

Post by brian livesey »

In parts of the UK, with London and the south-east most affected, spring came a week earlier than expected. New research indicates that street lighting is having an affect on seasonal plant growth, by fooling the plants into thinking that the days are naturally lighter than they really are. This has a knock-on effect on some insect species, such as the winter moth, that then affects some bird species in the food chain:
"Our findings that the timing of bud burst of woodland tree species may be affected by light pollution, suggests that smaller plants growing below the height of the street lights are even more likely to be affected," said Professor Richard ffrench Constant at Exeter University. "Such results highlight the need to carry out experimental investigation into the impact of artificial night-time lighting," he added.
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