This spring, cherry blossoms saw the peak blooming on March 26 in the city of Kyoto, Japan, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency . This was the record earliest since 812 A.D., according to data released by Yasuyuki Aono, a professor at Osaka Prefecture University. He called it a "concerning trend that could suggest the progression of global warming, if this continues to occur twice or three times in the next 30 years.”
Professor Aono's team identified the full-blooming dates in ancient times "from old documents," such as diaries by emperors and historical documents created by other officials.
The flowering of cherry blossoms has an extremely significant meaning in Japanese spring. Many people like to gather around cherry trees to eat, drink, and take photos. The flowers are also the symbol of graduation and entrance ceremonies, since the Japanese academic year ends in March and starts in April.
In recent decades, the date when the blossoms reach full bloom has been getting earlier and earlier, the data show. “It is a remarkable fact this year’s date broke the record,” Aono pointed out. The previous record was set in 1409, when the full blooming was documented on March 27.
However, Aono said there are numerous factors closely associated with cherry trees’ blooming, including warm weather in early spring and low temperature in winter, both of which the city saw this year. “It is extremely significant to see whether this early blooming trend will continue from now on,” Aono added.