Tensions Sprout in Spring

This month in pictures
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Asian man holding up a paper fan that says "Stop Asian Hate"

Stop Asian Hate Rally in Vancouver.

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Abigail Malate, Staff Illustrator

(Inside Science) -- As winter turned into spring, landscapes shifted both in nature and on a socioeconomic scale. This month, we witnessed harrowing anti-Asian sentiments, a container ship upheaving the global economy, and early spring blooms.

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A bee collecting nectar from a flower

In many places, spring flowers seem to be blooming early. While the sight is joyful for many people, especially those stuck at home, researchers have determined such early blooms might be confusing bees. Climate change has shifted when plants bloom -- some earlier in the year, some for longer periods -- creating a more competitive landscape for pollinators with more species needing their attention at once. Ecologist Matthew Austin worked with the Missouri Botanical Garden to explore these changes.

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Asian man holding up a paper fan that says "Stop Asian Hate"

Among the tensions surrounding the coronavirus pandemic a disturbing trend emerged: anti-Asian prejudice. Events this past month brought attacks against Asian people to public attention. On March 28, people gathered for a Stop Asian Hate Rally held at the Vancouver Art Gallery. Here, an Asian man holds up a red paper fan decorated with the words "Stop Asian Hate" while he remains socially distant from other rallygoers, all of whom wear masks for safety.

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Satellite image of the container ship Ever Given, stuck in the Suez Canal

A single cargo ship caused a global standstill March 24. Pictured here in a satellite image spanning a 2.64-kilometer width is the container ship Ever Given, tilted sideways along the Suez Canal. Clocking in at 1,312 feet, the ship is almost as long as the Empire State Building is tall. For nearly a week it blocked roughly 12% of international shipping traffic between Europe and Asia. The Ever Given was successfully dislodged March 29.

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Mars Rover tire tracks

NASA's Perseverance Mars rover continues its journey this month, searching for signs of ancient microbial life on the red planet. On March 5, the rover took this picture of the tracks it left from its first drive. The lighter patch of ground above those tracks is where Perseverance's descent rockets scoured the ground during landing.

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Bloom at CityCenter DC

Part art installation, part pandemic protocol -- these "greenhouse tents" cropped up in the Plaza at CityCenter, Washington, D.C. The installations not only provide a safe place to sit down and dine, but they also pay homage to the Asian American presence in and around D.C. They were installed as part of the 2021 National Cherry Blossom Festival, which commemorates the original gift of Japanese cherry trees from Mayor Yukio Ozaki of Tokyo City to Washington D.C. on March 27, 1912.

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