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Track Climate Change at Home With Project BudBurst

Colorado, USA
An oak tree in Georgia buds in January. (Photo by Judy Baxter via Flickr)

By noticing when plants bud, flower and leaf out, volunteers can track climate change as part of a nationwide initiative starting Friday. Project BudBurst allows people in every state to enter their observations into an online database that will give researchers a detailed picture of the warming climate. "Climate change may be affecting our backyards and communities in ways that we don't even notice." Each participant in Project BudBurst selects one or more plants to observe. The project website suggests more than 60 widely distributed trees and flowers, with information on each. Users can add their own choices. Participants begin checking their plants at least a week prior to the average date of budburst - the point when the buds have opened and leaves are visible. When participants submit their records online, they can view maps of these events across the United States. Project Budburst

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