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Maciamo
Dec 5, 2004, 10:34
For Tokyoites, this year has been warmer than usual. Much warmer than usual.

At first there were the plum trees blossoming early February, and the cherry blossoms starting mid-March, 2 weeks earlier than normal. Well, it was already like that last year... It could just be a coincidence. Nothing much to worry about.

Then came summer. The tsuyu (rainy season) scheduled for mid-June to mid-July and sometimes referred to by the Japanese as the "fifth season", didn't come at all. 2 days of rain is all we got. In comparison, it rained almost constantly during 3 weeks last year. Consequently, Tokyo, and many other regions experienced their hottest summer in over 60 years, with temperature going as high as 40'C and a heatwave lasting all the month of July. Last year, it was Europe's turn to experience the hottest summer in most people's lifetime.

Then came the typhoons. This year 2004 has had a record 27 typhoons, compared to an annual average of 18 to 20. But that's not all. The most devastating typhoons all came late, in mid or late October. Many regions have experienced the worst typhoons in decades, and not just one, but two or three of them in a month, killing hundreds of people. At the same time, hurricanes went havoc in Florida and the Carribean, and there too there were later and stronger than usual.

Then comes Autumn (Fall), after a prolongated summer. The leaves usually turn yellow and red mid to late November in Tokyo. This year, the trees in some areas are still mostly green now, early December, which means the koyo (autumn leaves) will be about 3 or 4 weeks late.

But that's not all. What I would consider to be a typhoon hit Tokyo again last night (4 to 5 December). It rained harder with more violent winds than any typhoons I can remember (even this year). In fact, I couldn't sleep a wink the whole night, whereas I slept through what was called Tokyo's worst typhoon in 20 years in October. Typhoon or not, it came out of the blue (without pun intended) after 2 weeks of perfectly clear weather. When I got up this morning, the rain was over and the sky was as blue as it can be. Not a cloud on the horizon. This is typical of typhoons, which take all the clouds away with them as they advance.

Yesterday, it was 11'C. It is now 25'C (for Americans, that means 77'F) on 5 December. If I remember well, last year, on 5 December was the first day of snow (well sleet, as it hasn't snowed properly in Tokyo for years). Many deciduous trees are still green (maples, gingkos, etc.) and it feels like being in Okinawa or Hawaii at this time of the year.

If Global Warming continues, Tokyo and many other cities in the world will soon have to fight the rising sea level and who knows, in 20 or 50 years, we could well be under the sea or navigating in the streets in little boats like in Venice. Tokyo already has lots of canals, reminder of the Edo period when the city was indeed very much like Venice, so at least they'll know how to cope with that...

DoctorP
Dec 5, 2004, 21:28
But that's not all. What I would consider to be a typhoon hit Tokyo again last night (4 to 5 December). It rained harder with more violent winds than any typhoons I can remember (even this year). In fact, I couldn't sleep a wink the whole night, whereas I slept through what was called Tokyo's worst typhoon in 20 years in October. Typhoon or not, it came out of the blue (without pun intended) after 2 weeks of perfectly clear weather. When I got up this morning, the rain was over and the sky was as blue as it can be. Not a cloud on the horizon. This is typical of typhoons, which take all the clouds away with them as they advance.


That was the remnant of a typhoon that had weakened to a tropical depression! The typhoon killed 400 in the Phillipines just a few days ago. But I agree with you that the weather patterns have definitely been changing the last couple of years!

Uncle Frank
Dec 5, 2004, 21:56
The change over the last 50 years is very dramatic. We always had heavy snow in November. When we went hunting in November in the 50's & 60's, it required snowshoes and snow machines to get around. A few years ago at hunting camp, we played horseshoes in our t-shirts & shorts.For the past 10 years in November, it has been warm enough to spoil the meat if you shot a deer. Lately we can't count on having a white Xmas anymore. In the 50's through the 70's there would always be 3 feet of snow on the ground by Xmas, maybe more. The past 5 years, we have had rainy, snowless holidays.
We get our snow now for January & February as wet, heavy mixes of snow with rain.My parents have pictures of snow in the 40's deep enough that you had to go out the 2nd floor windows to leave the house. I live just 15 feet above the ocean waterline and 150 yards from the ocean, I may have beachfront property before I die(or an underwater home) if this warming trend keeps up!

Frank

:blush:

Maciamo
Dec 5, 2004, 22:59
We get our snow now for January & February as wet, heavy mixes of snow with rain.My parents have pictures of snow in the 40's deep enough that you had to go out the 2nd floor windows to leave the house.

I heard similar stories in Europe. Actually, even when I was a child there used to be snow for weeks (maybe 15cm) every winter in my hometown, but now there are just a few days of snow and rarely more than a 5cm.


I live just 15 feet above the ocean waterline and 150 yards from the ocean, I may have beachfront property before I die(or an underwater home) if this warming trend keeps up!

Do you know if the sea level has increased in the last decades near where you live ? As far as I know, snow is becoming rarer in many places, but no port of cities near the sea have gone under water yet.

Elizabeth
Dec 5, 2004, 23:44
I've tried to talk with some Japanese friends about this lately, without much response, the latest news being that at least the ginko trees are thriving in Tokyo -- as they normally do in dry summer/wet winter climates ! :p

senseiman
Dec 7, 2004, 12:33
This has definitely got me worried too. In Hyogo prefecture we usually don't get hit by any typhoons, but this year 3 struck us directly, one of which completely flooded the entire city of Toyooka. Thousands of homes were destroyed and the little stream that runs next to my house was turned into a raging river that flooded its massive banks and came within spitting distance of flooding my place too. The biggest cause of concern I think isn't necessarily that Tokyo is going to be underwater in 30 years (though obviously that is a big concern), but more immediately important is what this is going to do to the food supply. The storms that hit Japan laid waste to vast stretches of farmland and destroyed lots of crops, driving up the price of vegetables sky high. Plus the summer heat did a lot of damage to other vegetation, forcing bears and other wildlife to invade towns and villages in search of food. If this trend continues, I shudder to think about what the world will be like in a few years when we can't grow enough to feed everyone.

Then there are the cherry trees. Some of the trees around Himeji castle came into bloom in october, which never happens. Uusally the Koyo season is finished by now, but this year it is still in full swing.

I find it odd that not much is being said about what this all means in the news. The NHK meteorologist always puts a happy spin on things like saying "Go out and enjoy the cherry blossoms on this wonderful 32 degree November afternoon!" without even any passing hint of concern about what this is going to mean for things in the future.

playaa
Dec 9, 2004, 00:23
Considerations, on the world population is why the meteorologists put spins on the story, imagine the chaos that would brew if everyone worried about global warming, it would be worse then any Y2K fears that everyone had.

Maciamo
Dec 9, 2004, 09:43
Considerations, on the world population is why the meteorologists put spins on the story, imagine the chaos that would brew if everyone worried about global warming, it would be worse then any Y2K fears that everyone had.

Maybe, but Y2K is pure superstition, while global warming is real and proven. Another difference is that we can fight global warming and get prepared for the consequences. And that requires everyone's participation.

Kamisama
Dec 9, 2004, 12:51
I don't think there will be a rising water level.
Too many thirst people. Blame the human race!!!

Plant a cherry blossom tree!

PaulTB
Dec 10, 2004, 00:10
Maybe, but Y2K is pure superstition
Er, no. Y2K was quite real - just massively over estimated in effect. And for ever one of the odd few Y2K glitches that actually came about there were others that were fixed in advance. (Not nearly as many as the doom mongers would have had you believe, of course).

while global warming is real and proven. Another difference is that we can fight global warming and get prepared for the consequences.
Er, no. That would be a similarity not a difference. In case you slept through that year quite a lot was spent fighting and preparing for Y2K.

playaa
Dec 10, 2004, 00:15
Well what Maciamo said was true to an extent, there were real problems that could have happened but also 90% of it was superstition most of your "Y2k" fix software's that sold out so fast you couldnt stock them were bogus and built fear on superstitious activities that were said to happen.

Though I agree we could start now and prevent it, but do you actually think that if that information was put out anyone would do something besides panic excluding a sselect few. How many decades have we been fighting the chopping down our rainforests and activities like that? Nothing ever happens.. It is just not in peoples sight''s these days to sacrifice even the smallest conveniences to save our future.

senseiman
Dec 10, 2004, 11:40
I don't think I agree with the pessemistic attitude. The hole in the Ozone layer is one problem that has been effectively dealt with even though it involved some cost. The hole is still there, but it is shrinking and will cease to be a threat in the coming decades.

Global warming is a bigger threat but some countries have already taken effective action against it. Britain has already reduced its CO2 emissions well below the 1990 baseline level. Japan, Canada and many other countries are also making progress. The US is slow to react not because American people aren't willing to make sacrifices for their long term interests (which most people are), but because the political leadership is hopelessly subservient to the big industries that contribute most to global warming.

Maciamo
Dec 10, 2004, 13:55
Er, no. Y2K was quite real - just massively over estimated in effect. And for ever one of the odd few Y2K glitches that actually came about there were others that were fixed in advance. (Not nearly as many as the doom mongers would have had you believe, of course).

I thought Playaa was referring to the apocalypse theory of Y2K, not the small computer glitch. We are talking about the future and survival of the human race, so I don't think the computer glitch even enters this kind of discussion.

Don't forget that most (yes, over 50%) of Americans believe in God, in the Devil and in the apocalypse. Most of them also believe in aliens invading our planet.



Er, no. That would be a similarity not a difference. In case you slept through that year quite a lot was spent fighting and preparing for Y2K.

Ditto.

lolife
Jan 4, 2005, 09:39
It feels like the years if off a couple of months nowadays. We got almost no snow at all in the southern parts this winter, like last year, but last year we got it in january/february instead, and it was pretty cold a good while into summer. Then it heats up, and it's rather warm a good while into the winter part of the year instead (thus no snow). :?