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S. Korea sees earliest Cherry Blossom bloom day in nearly 100 years Updated: 2021-04-01 13:33:56 KST

After the long harsh winter, the warmer weather is usually welcomed and so is the arrival of the cherry blossoms.
But this year, they may have arrived too soon.

"When three or more flowers blossom on a branch of this tree at Seoul Meteorological Observatory, that day is recorded as the "blossom day" for South Korea. This year, that was a week ago, March 24th. As you can see since then, it's reached its peak of its beauty."

Since records began 99 years ago, March 24th is actually a record by three days.
Even just ten years ago, blossom day came in mid-April, but in recent years it's usually around two weeks sooner.

"The average temperature this year has been higher than in other years and hours of sunlight have been longer. Specifically, in March, it was 3 degrees Celsius warmer than the usual average temperature and we had 20 hours of more sunlight. This has caused the trees to bloom quicker."

Scientists say these early peaks are a "colorful but palpable" sign of climate change.
But, this trend is not something which is unique to South Korea, as it is happening across the northern hemisphere.
In Kyoto, one of the most famous places on earth for cherry blossoms, the peak day came last Friday the earliest since records began 12-hundred years ago.
In Washington, DC, where the cherry blossoms were gifted by the Japanese more than a hundred years ago, and with a century of records being compiled, the average peak bloom date has been brought forward to March 31st from April 5th.
Such change is not just a matter of people seeing flowers early though.
Some experts say that, if the peak bloom comes too early, and bees and butterflies aren't fully active to pollinate, it could severely hurt the eco system.
Kim Do-yeon, Arirang News.
Reporter : tkim@arirang.com
KOGL : Korea Open Government License
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