Winter is phasing into spring across much of the U.S., and that can make for big weather swings. How do plants handle the transition?

As Boston University biologist Richard Primack explains, trees and shrubs in cold-weather zones have evolved to handle shifts from cold to warm and back. Now, though, climate change is scrambling the signals faster than some species can adapt.

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Jennifer Weeks

Senior Environment + Energy Editor

A late snowfall could set back the growth of this budding lilac. oddharmonic/Flickr

January warm spells, March freezes: How plants manage the shift from winter to spring

Richard B. Primack, Boston University

Trees and shrubs in cold-weather climates rely on certain signals, such as temperature and light, to know when to leaf out and bloom. Climate change is scrambling those signals.

Ethics + Religion

Environment + Energy


  • Motivation is a key factor in whether students cheat

    Carlton J. Fong, Texas State University; Megan Krou, Teachers College, Columbia University

    In order to keep students honest, research suggests that educators should focus on what's driving them to learn in the first place.

Politics + Society



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