In China, Climate Change Disrupts a Beloved Tradition: Cherry Blossom Season by The Paper

The blossoming of cherry blossoms, often seen as a sign of spring, is also the witness to global warming. Decades of global warming brought not only visible changes like melting glaciers to Earth but also undetectable changes in the phenology of the species. As the temperature is affecting the growth of organisms, phenological changes have become a crucial method to see climate change in history, especially when there was a lack of precise measuring tools. The Paper Data News Team tracked the records of the blooming times of cherry blossoms for over half a century in three well-known sites for viewing the blooming of the cherry blossoms – Wuhan University in China, Kyoto Arashiyama in Japan and Washington Tidal Basin in the United States. We found a consistent trend of advancing blooming dates year by year. The cherry blossoms are also a key component of the graphic design. Using flowers to label the blooming dates in years and a branch to represent the moving average, we could visualize the data in history by a blooming cherry tree. With the symbolic concept of "transienced beauty" associated with cherry blossoms, we remind viewers that the climate upon which humanity relies is vulnerable.