This Is How Plants Predict Climate Change

Phenology, the word, comes from the Greek word "pheno" which means "to appear" and is usually comprised of the study of the timing and the duration of events in the lifecycle of plants and animals. In California, perhaps the most iconic wildflower is California Poppy and the flowering of California Poppy once it is induced occurs on a daily basis for weeks and even months under good conditions. And the petals open to reveal the pollen containing anthers inside until the flowers are pollinated at which point the flower will wilt, the petals will fall off and the seed containing ovary will rapidly expand to contain hundreds of seeds to be disbursed by the wind when the fruit opens up. At the scientific end of the spectrum, is flowering at the end of winter advancing? Owing to the increased warmth that we're experiencing during our ever shorter winters or are they perhaps in some cases being delayed owning to say a lack of water necessary for those processes to progress normally? So today we're here at Hastings Reserve to conduct a phenology workshop.

People from around the community came in. Scientists and just some members of the public and they're reporting their observations online to an online program that the National Phenology Network created. Essentially this program its kind of like Facebook for nature. Well we all recognize that there aren't enough scientists in California or elsewhere to provide enough phenological observations with enough frequency to be able to detect small changes from year to year and so for that we need to turn to the public to contribute to the statewide and the ultimately to the national database as well..