Species must either adapt in-place to survive climate change or migrate elsewhere to track their prefered environmental conditions. Increasingly, the phenologies of species – the timing of their life history events – are changing in spring, with flowers opening earlier, or birds migrating sooner. Measuring the degree of this phenological change is challenging because it’s difficult to get good data before climate changed (when did plants start flowering in the past?), and it’s hard to be certain when an event actually took place (On a Saturday in spring you noticed the first violet flower; did they first flower that day, or during the past week when you were busier?). In our paper, we apply a new method to estimate the onset of events, allowing us to more precisely combine historic herbarium and museum data with contemporary observations to detect evidence of climate change.
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