By 3?? days per decade, perhaps more
In Dr. Jeff Masters’ WunderBlog on March 29th, he noted:
“In a welcome sign of spring, Washington DC’s famous cherry trees are beginning to burst into bloom, with the peak bloom predicted to come around April 5. This is two weeks behind last year’s peak bloom date of March 20, which was the third earliest on record”
He went on to state:
“Flowering cherry trees are excellent ‘natural thermometers’ that give evidence that the climate is warming. Their flowering time is highly sensitive to temperatures in February and March. Last year’s early bloom was triggered by the record-warm ‘Summer in March’ temperatures that gave DC its warmest March on record. February and March temperatures in Washington D.C. have warmed by nearly 3 ??F over the past century, causing the city’s famous cherry trees to bloom, on average, five days earlier than they did in 1921.”
In another online article on the same day, entitled “Cherry Blossoms in the nation???s capital: How has the weather affected their blooming dates?” says:
“…although we???re now experiencing one of our later peak bloom dates of recent years, the Japanese cherry trees???in Japan, that is???have already bloomed???the earliest they have ever done so…”
In an earlier article on the Washington Post website on March 20th, entitled “D.C.???s cherry blossoms have shifted 5 days earlier: what about global warming and the future?” By Jason Samenow, he had analyzed the National Park Service data on Cherry Blossom blooming dates in Washington DC and created the graph below.
His analysis of temperatures and blooms dates based on simple linear regression shows that Washington???s average March temperature has warmed 2.3 degrees in the last 90 years and that the cherry blossom peak bloom date has shifted in time to a little more than 5 days earlier, thus supporting the claim in the title of his article.
He further asked about the long term effects. What if Global Warming continues to increase?
He projects from his analysis that there could be a 10 day earlier bloom date by 2100, whereas an earlier Washington Post story, based on a study by Plant Physiologist Soo-Hyung Kim from the University’s College of Environmental Sciences opined that the rate of Global Warming could produce nearly a month’s earli5r blooming by 2080 and 13 days earlier by 2013.
The biggest concern over this “flap” expressed that this could put the National Cherry Blossom Festival, held in Washington DC every spring could get seriously out of synch with the actual peak cherry blossom blooming event.
Seems to us, that this is relatively minor, considering the more severe environmental effects likely to be brought on by such excess global temperature regimes.
“Greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere will continue to increase unless the billions of tons of our annual emissions decrease substantially. Increased concentrations are expected to:
These changes will impact our food supply, water resources, infrastructure, ecosystems, and even our own health” .