By Chris Spears

DENVER (CBS4) – I couldn’t believe my eyes this past weekend when I looked up and saw a tree in North Denver almost fully leafed out.

It seemed so out of place on the last weekend of winter in Denver.

(credit: Climate Central)

According to Climate Central, new data shows a trend for leaves to emerge earlier each year will continue as a result of a warming climate.

This is a concern because early leaf out puts trees, plants and crops at increased risk of damage from spring freezes.

Nationally, the emergence of first leaves is happening about three days earlier than it did 30 years ago.

Scientists say that if the climate continues to warm at the present rate, we could see first leaf appearance as much as 13 days earlier than average by 2050 and as much as 3 weeks earlier by the year 2100.

Meteorologist Chris Spears writes about stories related to weather and climate in Colorado. Check out his bio, connect with him on Facebook or follow him on Twitter @ChrisCBS4.

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