I was amazed when I read an article about spring arriving earlier and earlier and being detrimental to birds trees and people. I was of the opinion that an early spring was good, at least good for humans. I see it around me with red-winged black birds having arrived last week, much earlier than before in the Montreal area.
It seems that the trend is to see life emerging from winter earlier and earlier. Leaves on average now appear 20 days earlier than before. Insects also appear much earlier as well as birds. But if it is too soon, and a cold snap re-appears then these insects will die compromising the survival of birds. It also means that long-distance birds can decline if they arrive at the wrong moment contrary to birds that have a short migration route. There is evidence that those birds who have a short migration route can sometimes halt their migration or even slow it down.
Humans can be affected by this warming trend as an early spring will affect the ground. An early snowmelt will dry out the ground earlier than usual which in turn can affect farmers and their crops, thereby raising prices for consumers. If forest dry out earlier in the year that means that the fire hazard will grow. A dry winter and an early spring greatly affected the Fort McMurray fires of last year.
We still do not know who will be the winners and losers of climate change, but it is possible that on balance we may have more losers than winners, and there will be a cost to this.