Monitor the effects of climate change as a citizen scientist

The USA National Phenology Network lets citizen scientists monitor the behavior of plants and animals to track climate change effects.

Flowers blooming is a phenological event. Photo: CaptPiper (flickr)

Phenological events like plant flowering and bird migrations are influenced by the climate, so if those events continue to change, that could shed light on a changing climate.

You can participate by scanning historical data from The North American Bird Phenology Program, sharing data you’ve kept from past years or observing plants and animals. Just sign up on the National Phenology Network website to learn what plants and animals you can observe, how to observe them and how to submit your information.

You can see the data here and track phenological events across the country. You can also map phenology festivals, like an area asparagus festival or mint festival, on this map.

And if you’re looking for information on local and global climate trends, look at Weather Underground’s Climate Change Center, launched for Earth Day 2012. The center tracks temperature and precipitation at local weather stations, and you can check out how climate patterns have changed over time.