Tokyo Cherry Blossom Viewing Season Opens Early For Fourth Straight Year: Global Warming to Blame?

cherry blossom viewing photo

photo: Matthew McDermott

For millions of Japanese (and numbers of New Yorkers, see photo above from the Brooklyn Botanic Garden) cherry blossom viewing is one of spring's great pleasures. And in Tokyo the cherry blossom viewing season has just been declared open, with 10 buds being confirmed as blooming on a designated tree this past weekend. This year's early beginning is the fourth year that the season has begun earlier than what is considered normal. Some officials are speculating that this could be one more sign that the effects of global warming are already upon us:

A rise in temperature is one of the key elements prompting early cherry trees to bloom. The early blooming could be affected by global warming, but we need more study to probe it.

By the end of the 21st century, researchers have predicted that cherry trees in northern Japan could bloom up to three weeks earlier than average.

Four Years in a Row Not Enough for Causality, But Take Note
Four years of early blooming probably isn't enough to really blame global warming yet: To do so would be just as inaccurate as some global warming skeptics picking out a similarly small period without increasing temperatures, or other global warming signifiers and claiming that its all an elaborate hoax. Nonetheless, the early arrival is worthwhile noting.

via: AFP/Yahoo News
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