It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
Dreaming of a green Christmas? Dream no more
For those who study Britain's seasons and the increasingly topsy-turvy world of the natural calendar know many trees are remaining stubbornly in leaf despite the onset of "drear-nighted December".
The Woodland Trust, which oversees the national phenology project and the popular Springwatch and Autumnwatch initiatives, believes parts of Britain could be poised for their first "green Christmas", with some particularly verdant species having foregone their traditional autumnal show of reds, browns, russets and yellows.
The reason can be traced to the balmy days of October when temperatures were 2.5C above normal. That was followed by an exceptionally bright November with sunshine levels 50 per cent above the 30-year average.
The phenomenon is most clearly being observed in southern climes, but in milder northern areas, swaths of woodland are retaining foliage...
...the change in the natural rhythms could also affect the wider ecology of the forest floor, reliant on leaf fall in December to enrich the soil. Scientists have yet to understand what impact the delay in this "natural composting" process might have...
There is mounting evidence that spring is coming earlier each year. For each one degree rise in Celsius, spring advances by six days and frogspawn has already been spotted in Cornwall.
But the Woodland Trust believes the advent of spring in 2006 could be delayed because the warm autumn might lead to later spring leafing. The effect could be exaggerated by the cold winter forecast in the new year. But a mild winter could counterbalance that and lead to another early spring.