Climatic Conditions and Living Things in 1938

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    Abstract

    THE spring of 1938 was remarkable in Britain for a long dry period with varied temperature. January and the first ten days of February were warm, following a December with a temperature about 2-5°F. below normal; but a colder spell in late February was succeeded by a March which broke all records in a warm spell, accompanied by drought, which extended into April. The dry spell continued into April and May, but then it was associated by coolness during the day and frosts at night (Phenological Report, 1938, in Quart. J. Boy. Meteor. Soc., 65, 1939). These conditions had a marked effect upon vegetation. At most of the recording stations plant life was brought forward with a rush, so that by the end of March early stations were recording a precedence of 20 days, while at the highest station, Braemar in Aberdeen-shire (1100 feet), rather more than 20 days advance was noted. This precocity, restrained to some extent by the drought, was eventually cheeked by the weather of April and May, which caused widespread damage to blossom and foliage. Insects made an early response, as plants did, and suffered the same check, the recorders sharing an impression that, over all, butterflies and moths were scarce throughout the season.

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    Climatic Conditions and Living Things in 1938. Nature 143, 1016 (1939) doi:10.1038/1431016b0

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