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Estimating the beginning day of Japanese cedar pollen release under global climate change

Authors


Satoshi Inoue, National Institute for Agro-Environmental Sciences, Department of Global Resources, Agro-Meteorology Group, Air Quality Conservation Unit, Kannondai 3-1-3, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8604, Japan, tel. +81 298 38 8206, fax +81 298 38 8211, e-mail: ino@affrc.go.jp

Abstract

This study examined the effects of snowfall on the beginning day of Cryptomeria japonica pollen release and predicted it under global climate change. We used a statistical method in order to investigate when the pollen release would start and how much sooner it would be, by using data on predicted meteorological conditions under global warming in Yamagata City, Japan. Estimation accuracy was improved by multiple regression by using the mean air temperature from January to February and snowfall depth in February. Adding snowfall depth yielded more accurate estimates of the beginning day of pollen release than using air temperature alone. It is possible that the effects of heat insulation and cooling by snow delay the flowering day. Under the predicted global climate change, we expect the beginning day of pollen release to become earlier in Yamagata City. The date would be 8 February in approximately 100 years, compared with 20 February at the earliest now. Eighty years from now the date could be earlier than any date recorded so far.

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