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For most people, climate change seems an intractable problem, involving such distant issues as melting Arctic ice and threatened polar bears. But now, concerned citizens can get involved by studying the effects of global warming on plants right in their own backyards.

Cornell's Project BudBreak, created by David Weinstein, a Cornell senior research associate in natural resources, uses the power of citizen scientists to gather wide-ranging data about the timing of flower, leaf and fruit development and leaf drop, among other measurements, in common native trees and herbaceous plants in central New York.