Birds speaking to Europe

Climate change is already having a measurable impact on birds in Europe,’ a group of scientists declared in an article describing the first bio-indicator of the impact of climate change on nature in Europe (1). Evidence of this impact on biodiversity has accumulated in recent years: changes in the levels of profusion and distribution of plant and animal species, time-lags of certain events, such as flowering and reproduction, changes to migration patterns… Until very recently, however, there was no indicator with which to demonstrate this at the European level. In order to create this climate impact indicator (CII), researchers combined data from 1980 to 2005 on the diffusion of 122 common bird species across 20 European countries. This data is drawn from the Pan- European Common Bird Monitoring Scheme (PECBMS) project (2) and includes models which predict how each of these species may respond to climate change. A declining trend in the CII can be observed during the 1980s, probably reflecting the influence of cold winters and changes in land use, which prompted a decline in bird populations. Since the end of the 1980s, however, the indicator has not stopped rising, showing that the impact of global warming has surpassed those of other pressures, whether environmental or not. Some bird species have seen their populations increase, while others have witnessed a decline: the problem is that 75 % of the species studied fall into the second category (92 of the 122 surveyed during the study). The most significant threat relates to green- house gas emissions, which have increased significantly since the Industrial Revolution: the use of fossil fuels and deforestation generate carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, which combine with other major greenhouse gases:water vapour (H2O), methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O).

What do they mean with birds speaking to Europe
I know that birds are not speaking to Europe. What do they mean with speaking?

1 Answer 1


They mean that studies about changes in bird populations are providing important information to Europe about climate change.

This sense of "speak" is shown here:
Lexico "speak"
serve as evidence for something

This is a metaphorical use of "speaking", as if the evidence about bird populations had a voice.

  • do you mean with speaking they meant birds are helping to get info about climate change
    – Muzaffar
    Sep 6, 2020 at 4:44
  • Yes. I added a definition and explanation to my answer. Sep 6, 2020 at 18:54
  • thank you very much
    – Muzaffar
    Sep 7, 2020 at 17:33

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