Japan experienced its warmest spring on record this year, the national weather agency said Thursday, as greenhouse gases and El Niño push temperatures around the world up.
Temperatures in March, April and May were 1.59 degrees Celsius (34.9 degrees Fahrenheit) above average, the Japan Meteorological Agency said.
This made it the hottest spring since the agency began taking comparable measurements in 1898.
“Global warming has made these record highs more frequent, and they are expected to become even more common in the future as global warming progresses,” he said.
Average sea surface temperatures for waters around Japan during the same months were tied for the third highest on record since 1982, the agency added.
The United Nations said last month that 2023-2027 was almost certain to be the warmest five-year period on record.
This is partly due to the growing likelihood that the El Nino weather phenomenon will develop in the coming months, fueling higher global temperatures.
El Nino – a natural climate pattern generally associated with increased heat around the world, as well as drought in some parts of the world and heavy rain elsewhere – last occurred in 2018-19.
There is also a two-thirds chance that at least one of the next five years will see global temperatures exceed the more ambitious target set in the Paris agreements on limiting climate change, according to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). the UN.
The 2015 Paris Agreement saw countries agree to cap global warming at “well below” two degrees Celsius above average levels measured between 1850 and 1900 – and 1.5C if possible.
The global average temperature in 2022 was 1.15°C above the 1850-1900 average.
Much of South and Southeast Asia has been swamped by spring heatwaves as global warming exacerbates adverse weather conditions.
Records are being broken in the region, and on Monday Shanghai recorded its hottest May day in more than 100 years, shattering the previous record by a full degree.
Scientists say climate change is intensifying the risk of heavy rains in Japan and elsewhere because a warmer atmosphere holds more water.
Heavy rains in 2021 triggered a devastating landslide in the central resort town of Atami that killed 27 people.
And in 2018, floods and landslides killed more than 200 people in western Japan during the country’s annual rainy season.
Japan is the current chair of the G7, which this year pledged to accelerate the phase-out of global-warming fossil fuels.
However, the group of major economies failed to agree on new deadlines for ending polluting energy sources such as coal.