Responses to a Warming World

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Science  26 Oct 2001:
Vol. 294, Issue 5543, pp. 793-795
DOI: 10.1126/science.1066860

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Animal and plant life cycles are increasingly shown to depend on temperature trends and patterns. In their Perspective, Peñuelas and Filella review the evidence that global warming during the 20th century has affected the growth period of plants and the development and behavior of animals from insects to birds. The authors warn that changes in the interdependence between species could have unpredictable consequences for ecosystems, that the lengthening of the plant growing season contributes to the global increased carbon fixation, and that changes in phenology may affect not only ecosystems but also agriculture and sanitation.