Public Release: 

Climate change and leaf-out date in the Alps

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

Based on approximately 20,000 observations of leaf-out dates--when 50% of leaves are unfolded--for four temperate tree species at 128 sites in the European Alps, a study finds that the difference in leaf-out dates across elevation gradients has declined from 34 days for every 1,000 meters in elevation in 1960 to 22 days for every 1,000 meters in elevation in 2016, likely the result of increasing late spring and winter temperatures, according to the authors.


Article #17-17342: "Global warming leads to more uniform spring phenology across elevations," by Yann Vitasse, Constant Signarbieux, and Yongshuo Fu.

MEDIA CONTACT: Yann Vitasse, Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research WSL, Birmensdorf, SWITZERLAND; tel: +41-(0)32-718-16-37, +41-(0)79-345-21-23; e-mail: <>

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