Lilac blooms indicate earlier spring

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A program involving University of Vermont scientists in the 1960s and 1970s now is showing that spring is arriving earlier in the Northeast than it used to.

Lilac bushes are the proof. Scientists from UVM and Cornell University planted lilacs to help farmers predict planting and harvest dates. Those plants have now provided scientists with a historical record of bloom dates. And that shows lilacs are blooming about four days earlier now than they did in 1965.

The new research by a Cornell scientist will be published in a forthcoming issue of the International journal of Biometeorology. Scientists say the research is another sign of global warming.

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