Shifting Seasonal Precipitation in Connecticut

By: , Weston, CT // February 1, 2022

Changing patterns of precipitation, in conjunction with warmer air temperatures, pose a host of challenges to fragile ecosystems in the northeastern United States. Prominent among these challenges is the potential for phenological mismatch between interdependent species, which can result in a disruption of life-cycle processes and a decline in plant and wildlife diver- sity. Climate variation, precipitation in particular, has been shown to impact population fitness and thereby influence natural selection. By analyzing precipitation totals and seasonal timing, this paper investigates the magnitude of precipitation changes in the State of Connecticut over the past 145 years and concludes that, despite several notable exceptions, there is generally an increase in seasonal precipitation, and a shift toward early season precipitation which is especially apparent in snowfall. These seasonal changes have the potential to disrupt various aspects of phenology in certain plant and animal species, shaping key evolutionary processes. READ MORE

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