Kyoto is infamous for its beautiful cherry blossoms, with the expanse of pale pink petals letting people in Japan know that it’s springtime.
However, these are flowering earlier than they should because of climate change.
That’s according to research conducted by the Met Office and Osaka Metropolitan University, which found that 2021 was the earliest date these trees had blossomed since records began in Kyoto 1,200 years ago.
This year, the cherry blossom welcomed itself to the Japanese city 11 days earlier than it should have, with projections by the scientists that this could reach 17 days by 2100.
The scientists compared the impact of urban city life on temperature rises and how this has had a knock-on effect on wildlife.
Directly looking at data from Kyoto and the rural location of Kameoka, they found that since the 1940s, the city’s temperatures rose at far quicker rates than its rural cousin.
Japanese tourism benefits heavily from the blossom season, with many festivals taking place and people coming from all over the world to see the spectacle.
The early flowering is therefore impacting the economy but also farming, with Japanese farmers unsure when to pick their crops.