The cherry blossoms bloom earlier than ever in Japan, evidence that climate change has already taken a foothold in Japan is one proof of global warming having affected the country says Japanese environment ministry working group studying the effects of global warming on Japan. The group, headed by Shuzo Nishioka, director of the National Institute for Environmental Studies, Japan, focuses on the impacts of global warming on animals and plants.
The group's report it pointed out that the flowering date of cherry blossoms had moved up five days within the past 50 years, the number of alpine plants that prefer lower temperatures in Hokkaido is declining and a type of swallowtail butterfly that was previously able to live no further north than the Kyushu and Shikoku regions of the country has been found in Mie Prefecture (a region located furtherup-North) in the 1990s.
The report also points out that the amount of sea ice on the Sea of Okhotsk has decreased from 1980 onwards. The report mentions, the country's average temperature could rise by 4-5C in the next 100 years. According to past records, the average temperature has risen by about 1C in the last 100 years.