Climate change: (warning) signals of nature already visible

Long-term consequences of the changes are still unclear

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Climate change is also leaving its mark on the processes and interactions of nature. The Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN) is therefore raising the alarm and calling for increased climate protection efforts.

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Everyone can already tell: The winter was largely canceled, the spring started much too warm and summer temperatures are expected for the weekend. Even forest fires are already being warned due to the continuing drought in many parts of Germany. "The calendar of nature, as we know it, gets more and more confused by the climate change, " said the President of the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN) Professor Hartmut Vogtmann on the occasion of the warm temperatures: "But sunshine and heat so early in the year also their dark side, and they are already foreseeable. "

As nice as it may be that Mediterranean butterflies, such as the Admiral and the Taubenschwänzchen, have survived the mild winter in many places and visit early flowering garden plants, ticks are now already on the way and spread Lyme disease and meningitis. An extended "colorful season", for example, due to the now almost two weeks earlier forsythia bloom is attractive, but allergy sufferers already in early April massively under pollen from alder and birch. As exotic as the spawning season of toads and frogs may seem to be, our native amphibians are decimated by the introduced, heat-loving American bullfrog.

And as much as the migrating birds, such as black redstart, zilpzalp or nightingale, who are returning to Germany in the winter or now even in winter enjoy it, garden owners, farmers and foresters are likely to have to rely on more plagues and pests such as mosquitoes and bark beetles to adjust. display

Long-term effects so far unclear

According to Vogtmann, it is still unclear how such changes in the seasonal pattern affect communities of wild animals and plants. It is therefore urgently necessary to be able to predict the extent to which the rise in temperature, for example, between insects and forage plants, predatory animals and their prey or various plant species in one location, has an effect.

"We can not ignore these clear signals from nature in any case. Nature conservation and climate protection are closely linked. On the one hand, rapid climate change can lead to a worldwide loss of biodiversity and habitats; on the other hand, intact forest ecosystems, for example, are important natural climate protectors. We therefore need to further strengthen our national and international efforts to protect the natural foundations of life and the climate, "BfN President Vogtmann demands.

(Federal Agency for Nature Conservation, 16.04.2007 - NPO)