Cherry Blossoms

Japan's Cherry Blossoms See Earliest Bloom in 1,200 Years as Climate Warms

Peak bloom was reached on March 26 in the ancient capital of Kyoto, the earliest date since the country's meteorological agency started collecting official data in 1953

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Japan’s famous cherry blossoms reached their peak earlier than ever before this year, with experts suggesting the record-setting date is the result of climate change.

Peak bloom was reached on March 26 in the ancient capital of Kyoto, the earliest date since the country's meteorological agency started collecting official data in 1953 and 10 days ahead of the 30-year average.

Researchers at Osaka University, who have compiled historical data on the issue using the diaries of emperors, aristocrats, governors and monks, said it was the earliest peak bloom in more than 1,200 years.

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Yasuyuki Aono, an environmental scientist who leads the Osaka University team, said unusual weather fluctuations had caused the cherry trees to bloom more quickly this year.

Read the full story at NBCNews.com.

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