Early cherry blossoms in Japan. Spring came earlier than expected this year. The pink flowers known as “sakura” in Japanese are worldwide famous for giving an ethereal scenery every year during the spring season. The cherry blossom trees are also a worldwide tourist attraction for how captivating they look. The flowers hold a cultural significance for the Japanese. The flowers are presented as a symbol of life, death, and rebirth, both in literature and poetry.

This year was a bit different than the others. Japan experienced its earliest peak blossom phase. The last time it happened was 1,200 years ago, according to a researcher at Osaka Prefecture University. Aono gathered the records for all the last cherry blossoms in Japan, back to 812 AD, from historical diaries and documents. The data record has been maintained by emperors, aristocrats, governors, and monks over the centuries.

According to the International Journal of Biometeorology research, Kyoto’s cherry blossoms are blooming ten days earlier than they were 100 years ago. This implies that the global weather transition (global warming) affects the blossom growth, resulting in earlier springs and earlier blooms. 

According to experts, factors like global climate change and urbanization contribute to the early blossom dates. This collectively is a threatening situation for the worldwide ecosystem and many thriving species. 

Assistant professor of earth science at the Chinese University of Hong Kong Amos Tai said, “Ecosystems are not accustomed to these kinds of large fluctuations. It causes them a lot of stress. Productivity may be reduced, and ecosystems may even collapse in the future.”

“As global temperatures warm, the last spring frosts are occurring earlier, and flowering is occurring sooner,” said Dr. Lewis Ziska from Columbia Universities Environmental Health Sciences.

The condition is not limited to only the Cherry blossoms but various plants worldwide, which find it challenging to adapt to the harsh environments. Even crops that are prone to adverse attacks of nature like drought and locust attacks suffer from the effects of crucial climate change. Climate change is random at its best, and farmers have difficulty adapting to the abrupt climatic transitions. More than being an intentional act of harvesting and growing healthy food, agriculture has been affected by unpredictable weather conditions. It has just become a matter of luck whether a crop would be good or bad for most farmers. 

Another critical concern is that early flower blooms cause mismatches with the pollinators’ schedule, primarily bees. If bees are not active during the blossom bloom period, it can lead to poor pollination. The cycle continuation may result in poor cherry blossom growth. 

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