This is Scientific American — 60-Second Science. I'm Julia Rosen.
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In 1869, the Smiley family purchased a parcel of land about 100 miles north of New York City. Over time, some of their property and much of the surrounding landscape became the Mohonk Preserve, which has since grown to 8,000 acres and attracts droves of visitors to its thick forests and rugged crags — popular among rock climbers.
But the Mohonk Preserve also has a long scientific legacy. In the 1930s, Dan Smiley, a descendent of the original owners, began keeping track of the plants and animals that lived in the area. He wrote meticulous notes on the backs of menus from the Mohonk Mountain House, a resort owned by his family.
"He would take these old menus—'cause he was green, he was an environmentalist—so he would cut up these menus into squares. And actually, on the back of all our index cards, you can see parts of the menu from back in the 1920s and 1930s, so you can see what was served for dinner that night."
Megan Napoli, a research ecologist with the Mohonk Preserve in New York. Smiley's efforts produced a rare long-term data set of observations. It's ideal for studying the impacts of climate change, which often play out over the course of many decades and cause subtle changes in the timing of natural processes. For instance, other research has shown that songbirds are migrating north earlier and earlier in the spring.
"The reason that it's important that the birds arrive at the proper time in the spring is because they need to time their arrival with the insect emergence. So they need to be here to establish their territories, to establish their nesting sites, lay their eggs, and then once the egg hatch, and they have their nestlings, so they need to time that when the insects are most abundant."
Napoli has begun analyzing roughly 76,000 observations of songbird migration dates collected by Smiley and his team to see if they too show that climate change has altered the timing of migrations. Her preliminary results suggest that they do.
Napoli found that short-distance migrants that spend their winters in the southern U.S. now arrive an average of 11 days earlier than they did in the 1930s. Long-distance migrants that overwinter in the tropics arrive roughly a week earlier. Napoli presented her results at a recent Ecological Society of America meeting in Portland, Oregon.
As in previous studies, Napoli also found a correlation between early arrivals and rising spring temperatures at Mohonk, which the Smiley family has been tracking since 1896. But she says there are still more questions about how and why the birds are migrating earlier, and Smiley's data may hold more clues.
Meanwhile, who knows how many other long-term, personal data collections like Smiley's are out there, waiting to be discovered—and to help bolster official attempts to track the planet's changes.
Thanks for lthe minute for Scientific American — 60-Second Science Science. I'm Julia Rosen.
1869年，史迈利家族在纽约以北100英里处购买了一块土地 。随着时间的推移，该家族的部分土地和周围大部分景观成为了现在的莫霍克保护区，这一保护区已扩大到8000英亩，吸引着大批游客前来观赏这里的茂密森林和崎岖峭壁，而攀岩者尤其喜爱这里 。
而且莫霍克保护区还拥有历史悠久的科学遗产 。上世纪30年代，保护区原主的后人丹·史迈利开始追踪这一地区的动植物 。他将详细的追踪记录写在了莫霍克山庄的菜单背面，该山庄是他家族所有的一处度假胜地 。
“他会利用这些旧菜单，因为他是一位提倡绿色生活的环保人士，所以他会把这些菜单裁成方形 。实际上，你可以在我们所有索引卡片的背面看到上世纪20到30年代的一部分菜单，你可以知道当天晚上莫霍克山庄提供什么晚餐 。”
纽约莫霍克保护区的研究生态学者梅根·纳波利说到 。史迈利的努力提供了稀有的观察结果的长期数据集 。这个数据集是研究气候变化影响的理想资料，因为气候变化经常在几十年的时间里不断作用，使自然过程的时机发生微妙改变 。举例来说，其它研究已经证明，夜莺春天向北迁移的时间越来越早 。
“春天鸟儿在适当的时间到达非常重要，因为它们要让到达时间与昆虫出现时间一致 。因此，它们需要在这里建立领地、筑巢、产卵，卵一孵化，它们便有了后代，所以它们要让小鸟在虫子最多的时候孵化出来 。”
纳波利已经开始对由史迈利和团队就夜莺迁徙时间所收集的近76000份观察结果展开分析，目的是看看这些材料是否也证明了气候变化改变了迁徙时间 。她初步的研究结果显示，这些材料的确证明了这一点 。
纳波利发现，在美国南方过冬的短途候鸟现在回到北方的时间，平均比上世纪30年代早11天 。而在热带地区过冬的长途候鸟的到达时间则大概要早一周 。纳波利在俄勒冈州波特兰近期举行的美国生态学学会大会上发表了她的研究结果 。
在此前的研究中，纳波利也发现了候鸟到达时间提前与莫霍克春季气温不断上升之间的关系，这是史迈利家族从1896年开始便一直在追踪的情况 。但是她表示，候鸟到达时间逐渐提前的方式和原因仍有较多谜题等待解开，而史迈利的数据或许能提供更多线索 。
谢谢大家收听科学美国人——60秒科学 。我是朱莉娅·罗森 。
1. keep track of 跟上…的进展；掌握…的最新消息；
例句：We also keep track of most recently used reports.
2. cut up 切碎；
例句：We usually employ a knife to cut up food.
3. play out （使）（戏剧性的事件）逐渐发生；（使）展开；
例句：This situation will play out in my favour.
4. for instance 例如；譬如；
例句：Ethiopia, for instance uses the equivalent of just twenty kilos of oil per head a year.