Climate Could Kill Punxsutawney Phil Before He Gets His Next Chance To Predict It
Climate change is causing droughts and other issues that limit food availability for the wide variety of hibernating animals. Without enough food to store as fat before entering dormancy, hibernators can't survive the winter.
Research has shown that changing environmental signals are already altering animal behavior. For example, some bears are emerging from dormancy earlier, and some endangered species of ground squirrel are hibernating even longer. Meanwhile, some chipmunks aren't even hibernating at all anymore.
One of these years, Punxsutawney Phil himself might not be able to store enough food to make it through the winter.
Reactions: How is Climate Change Affecting Hibernation?, January 22, 2022.