Effect of Climate Change on Plants (Phenology):

Phenology is the study of the times of recurring natural phenomena. For more about phenology in Ireland, see this website.  Also check out National Biodiversity Ireland.  In recent years I've kept note of the arrival en masse of two common Spring flowers - the King Alfred type daffodil and the large cherry blossom. In table below this is compared with expected date circa 1980.



Mar 01



Feb 10

Apr 12


Feb 28

Apr 23


Feb 23

Apr 14


Feb 20

Apr 24


Mar 01

Apr 18


Mar 18

Apr 26


Feb 28

Apr 10


Feb 18

Apr 08


Mar 01

Apr 29 


Mar 08

 Apr 17  


Feb 28

Apr 19


Feb 24

Apr 26 


Feb 21

Apr 06 


Mar 08

Apr 26 


Feb 12

Apr 07


Feb 18

Apr 11 

2017: After a cold start to the month of February temperatures improved considerably after mid month and the bulk of the daffodils emerged a little earlier than normal. Spring advanced steadily after a mild March and by early April the cherry blossoms were out in full force. Earliest since I have been taking records.

2016: The daffodil season was a very unusual one in 2016. There were reports of some early flowering varieties opening up at New Year or even before. This was was due to the record mild December 2015. However by February things had slowed down considerably and the flowering of the bulk of the crop (At the end of February was only slightly ahead of normal). Spring made only slow progress during late March and much of April, with the result that the large cherry blossoms took until the last week of April to appear, a full 18 days later than in 2012. 

Spring 2013 was a very long one. Even in early May there were still some daffodils in bloom. The arrival of the daffodils was later back in Spring 2010 (following a colder winter) but 2013 has been the latest date in my records for the emergence of the cherry blossom.

The year 2012 in contrast saw a very early start to Spring. After a very mild January, some hard frosts in early February set things back slightly so not quite as early as 2005. However a very mild end to March ensured that the cherry blossoms were out in force by April 8th. This was the earliest date (since I first started documenting these in 2005). A full 18 days earlier than the cold Spring of 2010.