Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Awareness of climate change



Awareness of climate change

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
The effects of heat haze is seen in this photograph during a heatwave in Tokyo on August 2. Kazuhiro NOGI/AFP

Awareness of climate change

(The Japan News/ANN): It makes sense that the Japan Meteorological Agency has sounded the alarm, saying it “recognizes” the current extraordinary weather as a “disaster.”

This summer’s heat wave makes us feel that the climate of Japan has been obviously changing.

The average temperature in July exceeded that of usual years by 2.8 C in eastern Japan, setting a record high since data compilation started in 1946. The average temperature in western Japan was the second highest ever.

According to the agency, the current unusual weather is something that “could not happen even once in 30 years.” As westerlies have meandered further northward than in usual years, the continental Tibetan high-pressure system has prevailed over Japan. Overlapping with the Pacific high-pressure system in the lower atmosphere, it has strengthened warm air and caused the mercury to rise.

Extraordinary phenomena are not limited to heat alone. In heavy rains that wreaked havoc on western Japan, the highest precipitation levels ever recorded occurred at 124 locations, accounting for about 10 percent of observation points throughout the country.

From the latter half of last week to this week, Typhoon No. 12 moved westward following an unusual course.

Weather phenomena to which previously reliable rules of thumb do not apply have continued. Preparations are called for; health measures are imperative

Extreme heat has been reported in various parts of the world, too. In the Arctic of Norway and Finland, the temperature has topped 30 C. A heat wave hit North America, causing a number of people to die in Canada. In California and elsewhere in the US, wildfires have broken out over extensive areas.

Can it be said that the effects of global warming are now upon Japan?

Referring to the cause of extreme heat and heat waves, the World Meteorological Organization, for its part, said they “are consistent with what we expect as a result of climate change caused by greenhouse gas emissions, including carbon dioxide.”

As global warming continues, the frequency of onslaughts of extraordinary weather is said to increase. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change forecasts that if the average temperature rises by 1.5 C compared with that in the late 19th century, heavy rains and droughts will happen more often.

The Paris Agreement, which sets an international framework for reducing carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions, aims to hold the temperature rise by the end of this century to less than 2 C. To reduce the global volume of such emissions, cooperation among individual countries is indispensable.

Measures to cope with global warming, along with those to reduce gas emissions, have been growing more important.

In a relevant domestic move, the Climate Change Adaptation Law was enacted in the ordinary Diet session that ended in July. The law encourages local governments to work out adaptation plans.

It is imperative to secure health measures for residents and ensure their safety in times of disaster. Medium- and long-term subjects, such as changing varieties of agricultural crops to be grown, must be tackled on a priority basis.

MOST VIEWED

  • Locations shut, dozens more Covid-19 positive

    The Ministry of Health has closed 23 locations in connection with the February 20 community transmission of Covid-19 and summoned for testing anyone who had direct contact with affected people and places. The number of discovered related infections has risen to 76, including 39 women. In a press release,

  • Kingdom's Covid cluster cases jump to 194

    The Ministry of Health on February 25 confirmed 65 new cases of Covid-19, with 58 linked to the February 20 community transmission. The latest cluster cases include nine Vietnamese nationals, five Cambodians, one each from Korea, Singapore and Japan, with the rest being Chinese. This brings the total number

  • Cambodia's Covid cluster cases rise to 137

    The Ministry of Health on February 24 recorded 40 more cases of Covid-19, with 38 linked to the February 20 community transmission. Of the 40, two are imported cases involving Chinese passengers. The 38 include two Vietnamese nationals and one Cambodian, with the rest being Chinese. This brings the total cases

  • Covid cluster raises alarm, health bodies urge vigilance

    The Ministry of Health and the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia have expressed great concern over the February 20 cluster transmission of Covid-19 in the community. Both entities appealed for vigilance and cooperation in curbing further spread of the virus. Ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine said

  • PM confirms third Covid-19 community transmission

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on February 20 announced the Kingdom's third outbreak of Covid-19 community transmission after 32 people tested positive in just over 10 hours. Addressing the public from his residence after an emergency meeting, Hun Sen said: "I dub it February 20 Community Event, in which 32 cases

  • Cambodia to make auto-rickshaws

    Locally-assembled electric auto-rickshaws could hit the Cambodian market as soon as early in May after the Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC) gave the greenlight to an investment project at the weekend. According to a CDC press release, it will issue a final registration