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Early fruit and a map of climate change

Early fruit and a map of climate change

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Native tees are fruiting ever earlier in Britain, and a map may illustrate why, SIMON WEBSTER reports.

Two stories brought to our attention by the ever-illuminating treehugger website: firstly, a video from Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature researchers showing recorded temperature changes worldwide since 1800.

 It all seems pretty up and down and random until about 1980, when someone appears to have turned up the thermostat.

 Next, a BBC story telling how Britain’s native trees are producing ripe fruit an average of 18 days earlier than a decade ago, according to 10 years of data compiled by Nature’s Calendar, a network co-ordinated by conservation charity the Woodland Trust.

 “This caused me to go back and look at the data again to make sure it was valid because even I did not believe it initially,” said the trust’s nature adviser, Professor Tim Sparks.

 “In terms of looking at the fruit-ripening dates the thing that came out was that they all seem to have steadily advanced over the past decade.”

 The cause was unknown, though warmer Aprils and longer, hotter summers might be factors, Prof Sparks said.

 “What the actual consequences will be is slightly harder to work out.”