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Japan sees first cherry blossoms on record as climate warms

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Japan’s cherry trees are reaching full bloom in record time this year, the national meteorological agency said. Sakura season to global warming of the world.

In the former capital of Kyoto, cherry blossoms peaked on Friday – 10 days earlier than average and the earliest since the government began setting records in 1953.

“Our studies have shown that the start of the cherry blossom season is closely related to the average temperature in February and March,” said Shunji Ambe, head of the Meteorological Agency.

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“Our observations of plant life show that spring phenomena (such as cherry blossoms and plum blossoms) tend to occur earlier, while fall phenomena are delayed,” he said in a statement. email Wednesday.

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“We believe that these phenomena reflect an increasing trend in temperatures.”

On average, Tokyo cherry trees reach their full bloom on April 2. This year, the capital’s cherry blossom peaked on March 22, a day slower than the first one shot in 2002.

Of the 58 officially designated “observation cherry trees” across Japan, 24 began flowering on the earliest date on record, the agency said. Fourteen also reached their full bloom in record time.

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Most of these designated trees are the best known and loved yoshino variety – known for its white-pink flowers that bloom for about two weeks, then fall under showers of small confetti-shaped petals.

Scholars who have studied ancient Japanese poems and historical records say that the cherry blossoms of other wild varieties also appeared earlier in the centuries.

The sakura, or cherry blossom season in Japan, is feverishly anticipated by locals and visitors alike, although this year foreign tourists have been kept out by viral border restrictions.

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It is traditionally celebrated with hanami, or viewing evenings, with picnics – and sometimes alcoholic festivities – organized under the trees.

But this year, rallies have been discouraged to reduce the spread of coronavirus cases.

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