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Japan set to break record for highest yearly average temperature

A public thermometer displays a temperature of 41.4 degrees Celsius on July 23, 2018 in Kumagaya, Saitama Prefecture. (Mainichi/Hiroshi Maruyama)

TOKYO -- Japan's average temperature for 2019 is expected to hit an all-time high since records started to be kept in 1898, the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) announced on Dec. 23.

Relatively high temperatures continued to be observed across the country this year, with the average temperature estimated to be 0.92 degrees Celsius higher than the mean temperatures between 1981 and 2010.

This year's global average temperature is also anticipated to reach the second highest level since 1891, a phenomenon the JMA attributes to global warming triggered by rising greenhouse gas emissions.

According to the JMA, Japan's annual average temperature has risen by 1.24 degrees Celsius per 100 years. The highest yearly average temperature in Japan was recorded in 2016.

This year, warm air masses tended to flow into Japan from the south between September and November, contributing to "the warmest autumn" since 1946 in eastern and western Japan. As a spate of typhoons approached or made landfall on the Japanese archipelago, record-breaking downpours brought severe damage to many parts of the country.

A JMA official pointed out that rising temperatures push up the amount of water vapor in the air and said, "Heavy rain is hitting Japan more frequently. We believe global warming is behind this trend."

(Japanese original by Mayumi Nobuta, Science & Environment News Department)

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