Cherry Blossom Festivals Will Be Earlier Due to Climate Change

October 28, 2013

Communities around the world celebrate spring with cherry blossom festivals.  Japan is particularly famous for them, with some towns generating 40% of their annual revenue from the event.  According to recent research by scientists from several institutions (including Yale’s YCEI), festival organizers may have to hold the events up to a month earlier by the end of the century.  The team used a 29-year flowering history for four species and dozens of individual trees in a Japanese research garden to understand how temperature affects flowering probability.  They then used that model to project flowering date into the future with several climate models.  Each species of cherry is projected to flower about a month earlier in 2100 due to warmer winter and spring conditions expected in future years.