TORONTO, Tuesday, May 1, 2018 – The much anticipated blooming of Toronto’s Sakura or Japanese cherry trees is expected to happen early- to mid-May, but these are more than just pretty flowers. Their blossoming times have been recorded by emperors, aristocrats and monks since the year 854, allowing York University researchers to better understand shifts in global climates.
York University Professor Sapna Sharma of the Faculty of Science has studied cherry blossom flowering times from the writings of monks in Japan to understand changes in climate. Her research has shown changes in blooming times coincide with increased rates of warming around the start of the Industrial Revolution.
“In recent years, cherry blossom trees have flowered earlier than at any point in the past 1,200 years consistent with climate warming in Kyoto, Japan,” said Sharma.
Tree rings, corals and ice core data has also shown surface air temperatures globally are warmer than in the past 1,300 to 1,700 years.
Sharma is available to discuss how these delicate blooms can be such a harbinger of temperature changes to come.
Where to see the blooms:
At York University there more than a 100 trees, many of which are south of Calumet College, but also east of the Tait McKenzie Centre. Toronto’s High Park also has quite a few. Check the Sakura Cherry Blossoms website for more details on when they’re expected to bloom.
York University champions new ways of thinking that drive teaching and research excellence. Our students receive the education they need to create big ideas that make an impact on the world. Meaningful and sometimes unexpected careers result from cross-disciplinary programming, innovative course design and diverse experiential learning opportunities. York students and graduates push limits, achieve goals and find solutions to the world’s most pressing social challenges, empowered by a strong community that opens minds. York U is an internationally recognized research university – our 11 faculties and 25 research centres have partnerships with 200+ leading universities worldwide. Located in Toronto, York is the third largest university in Canada, with a strong community of 53,000 students, 7,000 faculty and administrative staff, and more than 300,000 alumni. York U's fully bilingual Glendon Campus is home to Southern Ontario's Centre of Excellence for French Language and Bilingual Postsecondary Education.
Sandra McLean, York University Media Relations, 416-736-2100 ext. 22097, firstname.lastname@example.org