Japanese Cherry Blossoms Peaked the Earliest in 1200 years

The cherry blossoms in Kyoto peaked the earliest in more than 1,200 years which was attributed by scientists to climate change.

The March 26th bloom date has beaten the previous record holder of March 27, 1409, the time when Charlamagne became Holy Roman Emperor.

According to Osaka Prefecture University professor Yasuyuki Aono, Kyoto’s cherry blossoms had usually bloomed around April 10 to 17 for 1200 years.

Scientists explained that the blooming of cherry blossoms is an indicator of the current world climate. 

“The Kyoto Cherry Blossom record is incredibly valuable for climate change research because of its length and the strong sensitivity of flowering to springtime temperatures,” said  Columbia University research scientist Benjamin Cook.

Studies have shown that cherry blossoms are very sensitive to temperature which was observed in 2018 where they have bloomed in autumn. 

“Since the 1800s, warming has led to a steady trend toward earlier flowering that continues to the present day. Some of this warming is due to climate change, but some are also likely from an enhanced heat island effect due to increased urbanization of the environment over the last couple of centuries,” said Cook. 

Outside Japan, the cherry blossoms have also bloomed in Washington D.C. which was also earlier than the expected dates.

“The cherry trees have reached peak bloom after temps well above average last week sped us through the final stages of the blossom cycle – just four days from stage 4 to peak,” tweeted the National Park Service.

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