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Last update: May 2021

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The heat wave of 2003 marked the beginning of a genuine awareness of the effects of ongoing climate change.

The entire scientific community has been mobilized for years through research programmes on this question. One objective is to gather information on these effects, to analyse them and to estimate the resulting consequences.

The CNRS was behind one of these initiatives when in 2006 it founded a research group on phenology. The objective was to structure research and observation in phenology nation-wide.  For that purpose, this research group compared and standardised observational methods. As part of this approach, the BBCH scale, which is now the standard at the international level, was adapted for forest tree species. Another flagship action of the research group was to create a participatory science programme, The Observatoire Des Saisons, now led by the NGO Tela Botanica.

In 2011, INRA in turn launched a research project entitled Perpheclim, as part of the Meta-programme ACCAF (Adapting agriculture and forestry to climate change). The objective was to set up the infrastructure required to observe, store and model phenology of forest, vine and fruit trees, which required  the three different research communities to share their experiences. In addition to aspects related to the data quality, this project enabled significant advances in the understanding of the various determinants of phenology, such as the effect of photoperiod on bud dormancy and consequently on budbreak and flowering in some species.

Lastly, in 2017, the Alliance for the Environment labelled the SOERE TEMPO, to make available to the widest public the phenology observation of the entire living world collected by research institutes and other public and private organizations.