Where birds fly offers clues to humans about climate

Birds in Charlotte, N.C., are moving north as temperatures warm. Eighteen of the 20 most common backyard species spotted last Dec. 27 have shifted their winter ranges northward over the past 40 years, national data show. The average distance was 116 miles.

Polls show Americans are increasingly dubious about global warming, even as most climate scientists say they're ever more sure that it's real. Oblivious to science and politics, Carolina wrens and cedar waxwings seem to signal climate change with their wings.

Charlotte's birds are among the hints of statewide shifts as temperatures inch higher. The tendency is northward and upward: stonefly nymphs moving higher up mountain streams; coastal frogs croaking in Piedmont backyards; tropical fish cruising the temperate coast.

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