Warmer springs are causing Japan’s cherry blossoms to bloom nearly a month earlier than they used to
Tokyo’s famous cherry blossoms reached their peak bloom March 22 this year, nearly a month earlier than they did just a couple of centuries ago.
A researcher has gathered records of peak bloom dates in Japan’s central city of Kyoto dating back to 800 AD.
For nearly 1000 years, the peak blossoming date of the city’s ancient cherry trees hovered around mid April. Until the mid 1800s, when it gradually started moving toward early April, and in recent years started dipping into March.
This year was the second earliest bloom date on record since 812 AD, over 1200 years ago.
“As global temperatures warm, the last spring frosts are occurring earlier and flowering is occurring sooner,” Lewis Ziska of Columbia University’s Environmental Health Sciences told CNN.
“Ecosystems are not accustomed to these kinds of large fluctuations, it causes them a lot of stress,” said Amos Tai, professor of Earth System Science at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.
“Productivity may be reduced, and ecosystems may even collapse in the future.”
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