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May 15, 2008

Key Observed Impacts by Continent

North America
1. Earlier plant flowering in spring of 89 species (examples, American holly,
sassafras, box elder maple) as a response to global warming in Washington, DC
area; earlier flowering in Boston, Massachusetts
2. Intraspecific predation, cannibalism, and declining population among polar bears
in southern Beaufort Sea
3. Rapid melting of Alaska glaciers
4. Earlier breeding and earlier arrival dates of birds (examples, American robins are
arriving 14 days earlier in Colorado; Canada geese in Manitoba)
5. Shoreline retreat in southern Gulf of St. Lawrence
6. Advancing spring flight of butterflies in lowland California; Mollusks in
Monterey, California
7. Earlier high river flows in New England
8. Earlier peak migration of Atlantic salmon in New England
9. Earlier breakup and later freezing dates in lake and rive ice cover in Northern
Hemisphere
10. Declining mountain snowpack in western North America
11. Changes in diatoms in northern Canadian lakes
12. Earlier streamflow timing across western North America
13. Genetic shift in pitcher plant mosquito to more warm-adapted type in Eastern U.S.
14. Marmots are emerging 38 days earlier in the Rockies
15. Frogs (including the bullfrog and the American toad) are calling earlier in Ithaca,
New York

Europe
1. Changes in leaf-unfolding and flowering and animal growing phases in 19
European countries: Examples are hazel, lilac, apple, linden, and birch
2. Earlier egg-laying of birds; earlier migration of birds (for example flycatchers)
3. Long-term changes within fish communities in Upper Rhone River
4. Glacier melting in the Alps
5. Rapid advance of spring arrival of long-distance migratory birds in Europe
6. Mountain birch tree-limit rise in Sweden
7. Changes in lake diatoms to warmer-adapted species in Finnish Lapland
8. Earlier pollen release in the Netherlands
9. Apple trees are leaving 35 days earlier in Spain

Asia
1. Greater growth of Siberian pines in Mongolia
2. Earlier break-up and thinning of river and lake ice in Mongolia
3. Change in freeze depth of permafrost in Russia
4. Earlier flowering of ginkgo in Japan

South America
1. Glacier wastage in Peru
2. Melting Patagonia icefields are contributing to sea-level rise

Africa
1. Decreasing aquatic ecosystem productivity of Lake Tanganyika

Australia
1. Early arrival of Australian migratory birds (examples – flycatcher, fantail)
2. Declining water levels in Western Victoria

Antarctica
1. Population of emperor penguins had declined by 50% on Antarctic Peninsula
2. Retreating glacier fronts

Ocean
1. Long-term decline in krill stock in Southern Ocean
2. Increasing abundance of tropical/subtropical species and decreasing abundances
of temperate/subpolar species in California current
3. Increasing plankton abundance in cooler reigons and decreasing plankton in
warmer regions in Northeast Atlantic