Early blossoms

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The surest sign of spring in Washington, D.C., is when the city’s famous cherry trees burst into peak bloom. This year, the blossoms peaked on March 21, a day *ahead #before #early #in_the_wake of the National Park Service #estimate *forecast #outlook #projection and among the earliest on record. Those prodigious petals are also the surest sign that the changing climate in the mid-Atlantic will bring more serious #data *impacts #results #significance than the timing of Washington’s tourist season. | The early peak is more confirmation of what the IPCC’s latest reports have already told us: A warming atmosphere is *affecting #determining #disturbing #influencing all kinds of seasonal weather, and rapidly rising global temperatures will make these impacts more severe. While D.C.’s cherry trees are not an ideal *indicator #omen #signal #symptom of climate change, Japan has hundreds of years of *data #documents #evidence #knowledge on cherry trees that clearly shows peak bloom advances in response to climate change. | Trees and flowers are just surface effects of shifting seasons, though. Rising temperatures can affect soil moisture, evaporation #amounts #measures *rates #speeds , river flows, lake levels, and snow cover. These shifts mean longer seasons for droughts, wildfires, floods and other severe weather #accidents *events #reports #situations that take people’s lives, homes, and possessions, with costs in the billions. | Warming also affects growing #dates #extents #plans *seasons and regions for all kinds of agricultural products such as food crops and textiles. It will change the locations of forests and the quality of trees for lumber. This #conclusively #lastly #permanently *ultimately affects the availability, supply, and prices, of food, clothing, products we use daily, and the state of the economy in general.

Source: Brush, L. (2022) ‘Early cherry blossom peak is a gentle, but serious, warning on climate change’, C2ES Blog, 22 March. Available at: (Accessed: 22 April 2022).