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Japan may become 4.5 C hotter if no anti-global warming steps taken

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Japan's annual average temperature would be 4.5 C higher at the end of this century than the close of the last if the world fails to tackle global warming, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency.

    Temperatures in Tokyo, whose current annual mean temperature is 15.4 C, would roughly equal those of Yakushima today, a Pacific island in Kagoshima Prefecture in Japan's southwest whose annual mean temperature is 19.4 C, according to the simulation, which foresees temperatures on the country's Pacific side rising 4.3 C on average.

    The simulation was based on a scenario compiled by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which projects the world's annual mean temperature to rise 3.7 C over the same period if no steps are taken to cut greenhouse gas emissions and increase absorption of emitted gases.

    The number of days during which the mercury would reach at least 35 C is expected to increase by 20 or more over a wide swath of the country, including Tokyo, while Amami-Oshima Island, an island in Okinawa Prefecture southwest of Yakushima, will see around 54 more days like that a year.

    In Sapporo, the capital of Japan's northernmost main island of Hokkaido, the number of ice days during which highs would remain below zero is expected to decrease from the current 45 days a year to seven.

    Japan is also expected to see more than 50 millimeters of heavy rainfall per hour more than twice as frequently as at present.

    "We want people to be alert to the large risk of global warming that could damage agriculture, forestry and fishery industries and increase flood disasters," said an official of the weather agency.

    The international climate accord set in Paris in 2015 aims to hold the global average temperature rise to "well below" 2 C above preindustrial levels. To that end, the Japanese government has set a target to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by 2050.

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