People walk under cherry blossoms at a park in Tokyo. Photo: AP/Eugene Hoshiko
national

Cherry blossoms' early bloom due to climate change, say experts

55 Comments
By MARI YAMAGUCHI

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.


55 Comments
Login to comment

And last year they bloomed late due to climate change.

1 ( +25 / -24 )

Thank you “experts”

-1 ( +12 / -13 )

If it’s a warm spring, they bloom early. If it’s cold spring they bloom late. This year has a very warm spring. So...(not too difficult to understand). And funny temperature data comparison - Kyoto March 2020 with all of Japan 2021. Isn’t it more logical to compare Kyoto 2020 with Kyoto 2021?

Also! They have blossom date records for the years 1612, 1409 and 1236? Really? Forgive me, but that’s kinda hard to believe. Is this a misprint or misunderstanding by an absent-minded, uninterested reporter?

-1 ( +12 / -13 )

I remember 1990 was early too - just the same as this year.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

The government should urge the cherry blossoms to align with the start of the school/ fiscal year. It's unconstitutional to be out of step with normal culture.

19 ( +21 / -2 )

They have blossom date records for the years 1612, 1409 and 1236? Really? Forgive me, but that’s kinda hard to believe. Is this a misprint or misunderstanding by an absent-minded, uninterested reporter?

You should actually read the article, the answer to your question is right there:

Some say it is the earliest peak bloom ever based on records from historic documents, diaries and poetry books from Kyoto. 

13 ( +18 / -5 )

Shiver my timbers. Imagine that.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

said the earliest blooms he has found before this year were March 27 in the years 1612, 1409 and 1236

And since there were fewer SUVs in 1612, 1409 and 1236, how do the "climate experts" explain the early blossoms?

-2 ( +14 / -16 )

Forgive me, but that’s kinda hard to believe.

People have been writing stuff down for centuries though. Tale of Genji?

6 ( +8 / -2 )

This report is just an extension of the doom discourse that the mass media thrusts upon us.

Next it will be the fear of heatstroke because of masks. Then the ~est on record, late fall, no snow, natural disasters increase etc.

Imagine if the news was "there is no news worth reporting so have a nice day."

Imagine..,

-2 ( +10 / -12 )

there is no such person as a climate expert... there are people who track things using satellites which were not around 100 years ago... then they give predictions.... the so called experts use recordings of things such as temperatures which also have only been around since invention of the thermometer,,, history also has some pretty good records of disasters and now we can look back into history to see sea levels etc and markings to trees ....evidence of water in deserts millions of years ago... but lets see the actual days that flowers start to bloom for a period of 200 years... bet there are timing differences of 5 days or more between years... all attributable to climate change back in 1800 ????

-7 ( +7 / -14 )

In the years I’ve been in Japan, overall the cherry blossom peak has been getting earlier and earlier every year. A few outliers obviously don’t make a trend.

Common sense, I know, but some people have to be knee-jerk [insert issue here] deniers and just can’t accept the reality around them. This graph tells the tale:

https://www.economist.com/graphic-detail/2017/04/07/japans-cherry-blossoms-are-emerging-increasingly-early

5 ( +9 / -4 )

Early cherry blossom season is one of the less destructive signs of climate change. Unlike extreme weather, rising sea levels and the displacement of hundreds of millions of climate refugees. But what do I know, I only repeat what "experts" say. It might be better to become an armchair climatologist and post comments on how climate change isn't real because a random year in the past was warm too.

4 ( +10 / -6 )

The entirety of the scientific community agrees that climate change is real, man-made, and already leading to catastrophic climate events that will only get worse with time.

So on this debate, you can be on one of two sides : science and reason...or dishonesty and idiocy. It's a pretty simple choice.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_consensus_on_climate_change

5 ( +12 / -7 )

It’s a warm spring. I love it. We started 20 degree plus days in February, and there’s been a countless string of them through March. And that’s why the blossoms are really. It’s so simple.

Why don’t you just enjoy the warm days gratefully? Instead of whining about it.

2 ( +11 / -9 )

Climate change is a fact.

March 27 in the years 1612, 1409 and 1236

But early blossoms are not something new.

So the trend must be said. What about the 10 year moving average ? It is more relevant

4 ( +8 / -4 )

It’s true there has been snow on the cherry blossoms before. But that’s because warm weather preceded the snow event. I’m saying that kinda proactively, in case someone disconnects blossoms from temperature.

Blossoms react directly to the temperature - if it’s cold they just will not come out, or maybe grudgingly late in the spring. They are smart ! ( Just like viruses)

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Thank you “experts”

No need for the quotations, those people are actual experts.

4 ( +11 / -7 )

@didou

But early blossoms are not something new.

Yes. It is no longer news.

https://www.economist.com/graphic-detail/2017/04/07/japans-cherry-blossoms-are-emerging-increasingly-early

1 ( +4 / -3 )

When I first went to Japan, the perishing cold of late winter almost froze my nose solid but for the protection of a mask. I was amazed that HSGs could wear skirts in such cold without expiring. In the last couple of years, there have been days in late February, never mind March, where anything more than a shirt would have rendered you uncomfortably warm before you got to the nearest vending machine. The climes, they are a-changing.

The UK just had its second warmest March day on record. My sakura, large and small, are all in full bloom. This year they are a couple of weeks later than last year, when we had several periods of unseasonably warm weather in Feb and March.

Two points. Average temperatures don't tell the story you need to hear. If your hot spells spike 11° (and they have been in places like Russia, where the permafrost is getting soggy) and your cold spells drop 10°, your average will only go up 1°. That doesn't sound too bad, but bouts of much warmer and much colder weather are destructive to crops, ecosystems, wild species and us.

Secondly, it is often the instability of weather that causes problems. Many plants and animals can cope with slightly warmer or colder temperatures. The footprint of plants moves and the animals follow. Easy for annuals, tougher for perennials, more so for shrubs and dangerous for trees (hence the numbers of trees lost to drought in some parts of the US).

Unreliable and extreme temperature swings cause much more damage. If buds get frosted, you get no flowers or fruit - or hanami. Animals dragged out of hibernation early may have no food sources. My garden had loads of butterflies flitting about in summer warmth today, but they might not cope with the weekend. A crop needs a period of stable, non-extreme weather to reach maturity. Many fruit trees need a period of cold or they won't fruit. Some seeds need to be frosted over winter or they will not sprout.

Some plants will cope and adapt. Judging by the hundreds of germinating sycamore seeds that I have been pulling up here in the last week, they will be fine. But our future native flora will change. Pests and diseases that come in on airborne moisture, trade winds, migrating birds, yellow dust or sand from distant deserts, if they are not wiped out by frosts, will take a toll. Climate change will directly impact many more. We need to research the non-native species that we may need to plant in the future as our environment changes - stasis is unlikely to be an option.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

This report is just an extension of the doom discourse that the mass media thrusts upon us.

Why blame the media if this is the opinion of experts? is it because when you don't like what the experts say you find easier to criticize the media?

4 ( +13 / -9 )

Is it because when you don't like what the experts say you find easier to criticize the media?

Not arguing with the experts or blaming them at all. Can't criticise the experts for what the news reports. Nothing new to report really so why report it is all I am saying.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

I remember one reason for not changing the start of the school year to September was that parents wanted the start to coincide with the blooming cherry blossoms. Thought that was a stupid excuse back then, and now global warming has made that excuse mute. What a bunch of maroons.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Ah, the years of 1612, 1409 and 1236. Kyoto today is a concrete jungle. Nothing like the Kyoto of old. Like comparing apples with grapes.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Nothing new to report really so why report it is all I am saying.

Because it is true? because people do wonder why trees are blooming earlier? because it does help making people aware human originated climate change is real and have consequences?

I mean, is not like we are in November and suddenly an article about Sakura trees came up out of the wild.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

"... March 27 in the years 1612, 1409 and 1236, though there are not records for some years..."

Or, in other words, even hundreds of years ago there were early blooms. So, there are variances occurring naturally. The climate has always been changing.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

No need for the quotations, those people are actual experts.

So are scientists like Patrick Moore, an actual climate scientist and a founding member of Greenpeace. He routinely calls out these charlatans as the activists they are.

-5 ( +7 / -12 )

Nothing stays the same. Humans are in direct conflict with the Chaos Theory. Adapt. Or die.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Some say it is the earliest peak bloom ever based on records from historic documents, diaries and poetry books from Kyoto. 

"Some say" is not the most convincing statement. I mean, some say that we are ruled by lizard people. It's meaningless. Who said? And how do they back it up, specifically?

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

Cherry blossoms' early bloom due to climate change, say experts

I have a special secret that I would like to convey to the fans of hanami. The climate changes.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

No need for the quotations, those people are actual experts.

As long as my laundry keeps getting soaked because the "experts" couldn't even get a one day weather forecast right, I'm gonna use quotations.

Let's work on getting tomorrow's climate prediction correct before you claim to know what's gonna happen in 100 years.

-7 ( +4 / -11 )

I tend to go with scientific consensus on issues regarding science.

I dunno, it just seems a better option than going with the item on the right wing ( very often US rightwing )/conspiracy theory hymn sheet along with other items like stolen elections and anti-vaccination.

Let's work on getting tomorrow's climate prediction correct before you claim to know what's gonna happen in 100 years.

Best look at the difference between ‘weather’ and ‘climate’ to start with a crayon level introduction to this topic.

It’s why many of us watch or check ‘the weather forecast’ on a daily basis. Have you noticed this?

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Burning Bush- you beat me to it. Welcome to "political" science, the same kind we're getting with COVID.

-5 ( +6 / -11 )

I dunno, it just seems a better option than going with the item on the right wing ( very often US rightwing )/conspiracy theory hymn sheet along with other items like stolen elections and anti-vaccination.

"weather" is anything that the flock disagrees with.

"climate" is anything the flock agrees with.

(And lets throw in some superfluous anti-US hatred for good measure)

-6 ( +6 / -12 )

Because it is true? because people do wonder why trees are blooming earlier? because it does help making people aware human originated climate change is real and have consequences?

if people don't know all that by now they have been living on a different planet until today. Or historically the news fails to effectively inform

The article is recycling and compounding the same old fear-factor. I call such articles "click-bait".

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

Anyone who skis will tell you that on Honshu, we don't get powder days like we used to in March and that the snow is melting away faster. March used to be good skiing on good snow.

Although a believer in climate change, I don't know whether cherry blossoms are a good proxy for it. One trigger for autumn leaves is shortening daylight, which is unaffected by temperature and is the same every year. The timing of cherry blossoms is also trivial and it would be wiser to focus on more serious effects of climate change, forest fires, crop failures, bigger storms and typhoons, climate refugees (otherwise known as "illegal immigrants"), and resource-driven wars.

Here's a map of temps vs. historical averages across the country for the last 60 days. GBR48 is wise though to say that averages hide spikes and that it is extreme weather that causes the most problems.

https://www.data.jma.go.jp/obd/stats/data/mdrr/tenkou/indexTenkouTem60dhi.html

3 ( +4 / -1 )

The article quotes two experts, so the headline would be more honest if it said "some experts say."

In any case, there's nothing in the article that says whether the warming is part of the natural variation or anthropogenic, so what these quoted experts say is worth taking into account, and climate change isn't necessarily catastrophic as the media and certain lobby groups and organizations would have us believe.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

and climate change isn't necessarily catastrophic as the media and certain lobby groups and organizations would have us believe.

That is not the consensus of science.

Also, why base your opinion on the media? There are scientific organizations that are the best ones to refer for these kinds of matters, do any of those organizations say the changes are not due to human activity or that they will not have huge effects?

4 ( +8 / -4 )

It's been warmer than usual in Kyushu for the month of March. Nice though.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Give Joe and Kamala a year to fix this. Next year they will be in April like they should.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

I hope that people who openly dismiss science and experts on climate issues equally dismiss science and doctors if or when they get cancer. And then treat themselves with magic crystals and incense. Because that would be equally as dumb.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

It’s nice and warm outside here in Tokyo. Climate change is no excuse for carbon taxes. Eventually ice age will come again

5 ( +9 / -4 )

"Cherry blossoms' early bloom due to climate change, say experts"

We are so happy that we have experts to tell us what we thought was common sense. But I guess they do the surveys and conduct tests and have meetings over this hot topic issue. Thanks experts. We are in need of you guys! Happy Thoughts!

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Don't just keep blaming, do something more positive to curb climate change. Japan knows what best to do, right?

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Sakura have deeply influenced Japanese culture for centuries and regularly been used in poetry and literature with their fragility seen as a symbol of life, death and rebirth.

With sakura trees crooned and planted across the country, the current celebration style and partying culture nationwide and overseas (!) are more recent phenomena.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

In the past, the cherry blossom was important because the people knew it was time to plant their rice crops.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

A typical human response to this would be to develop cherry trees, specifically the popular somei yoshino type, that bloom later. Since no-one eats them, the whole arsenal of genetic modification is available for this. FWIW, the blooming dates given for ancient history in the story are going to be a different variety to modern trees, so that makes that data even less reliable and worthy of attention.

Regular somei yoshino trees grow really quickly, so don't worry when buying a cheap little sapling in the home center. Space them out properly because they'll soon be massive.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The cherry blossom blooming depends on how much it was cold on winter. 

This winter , especially mid of December to January, it was very colder than usual. 

And higher temperatures (During February)after the cold days would’ve made accelerate the timing of Sakura Blooming.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Let’s just only adjust the calendar, amidst Sakura blooming = 1st of April, the rest omitted or extended. ROFL

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I would like to know what kind of high tech piece of equipment did they have in 1612, 1409 and 1236, that could measure the tempreture so accurately?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Why don’t you just enjoy the warm days gratefully? Instead of whining about it.

If course it is nice to have warm weather at a miserable time of the year, but there are implications of global warming that run will beyond the temperature in Kyoto in March - it is a global issue with significant implications.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

The level of childish discourse alive is quite depressing.

Trump-level idiocy such as not being able to distinguish between weather and climate; calling actual experts "experts" to undermine them, using a smartphone (developed by experts); making absurd claims that because another year had early blossoms that the analysis is untrue (as though climate scientists hasn't thought of such an obvious fact).

What is at the heart of this is an unwillingness to consider the actual implications of climate change and the changes that it will make to our planet. Climate change deniers don't want to make any changes to their lifestyle, so simply deny the scientific evidence that the earth's climate is changing and it is occurring at a rate faster than at any time in history.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

In a few years we will have hanami on Christmas.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@Ah_so

Spot on. It's that and a dangerous combination of the Dunning Kruger effect and the need to look clever.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

 It's that and a dangerous combination of the Dunning Kruger effect and the need to look clever.

I dunno. Citing formerly obscure studies but suddenly popular cliches on social media, like the Dunning Kruger effect, strikes me as an effort to sound clever.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites