This upcoming weekend we’ll “spring” our clocks ahead one hour which is a sure sign that spring is right around the corner. The new season arrives March 20th, but there have already been hints of the milder months ahead throughout our own winter season. That’s because spring is coming earlier each year as our Earth continues to warm at alarming rates.

Dating back to 1970, our spring time temperatures have increased two degrees in the United States which has made for challenges within growing season. A longer growing season can mean a larger strain on water resources especially when paired with ongoing drought. The added warmth has also resulted in our last frost and freeze dates for spring to occur three and a half days earlier than our long term average.

Over the last half century, Burlington has added an average fifteen warmer than normal days over any given spring season. This has pushed our overall average springtime temperature up by almost three and a half degrees.

Our warmer spring seasons will likely mean an extension and worsening of pollen season and for farmers, an added irritation of more invasive plants and species sticking around for longer periods of time. This could, altogether, threaten long standing and important crops.