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Washington's cherry trees could start blooming in winter

Published: Friday, March 16, 2012

Washington's famous cherry trees may soon be blooming in winter, say scientists, who describe the trees as "ideal indicators of the impacts of climate change."

"Their flowering time is highly sensitive to temperatures, especially during the winter and early spring," write experts from the University of Washington in Seattle, who published their research last fall. With unchecked population growth between now and 2080, they say, the trees' peak bloom could happen in early March -- a full month earlier. And 30 years from now, the trees may be blooming about two weeks earlier.

For those in Washington this winter, it is easy to believe the prediction. Unusually warm temperatures have already forced the U.S. National Park Service to move its forecast for when the trees will bloom twice. The official bloom is now expected to start Sunday.

This means there could be little to no blossoms left toward the end of the six-week centennial National
Cherry Blossom Festival, beginning Tuesday (Ruane/Buck, Washington Post, March 14). -- LJ

Reprinted from ClimateWire with permission from Environment & Energy Publishing, LLC. 202-628-6500


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Reprinted from ClimateWire with permission from Environment & Energy Publishing, LLC. 202-628-6500.

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