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Calamitous climate change means saying 'sayonara' to lovely autumn weather

32 Comments

Back in 1982, female vocalist Naoko Ken scored a hit record with "Natsu Akiramete" (Give up on Summer).

The lyrics of its refrain, in English, went:

"Darlin' can't you see?

I'll try to make it shine.

Darlin' be with me!

Let's get to be so fine."

Four decades since Naoko-chan crooned her hit, climate change is upon us with a vengeance. Which for Japan implies prolonged summers, followed by autumns so brief in duration as to be practically unnoticeable. Which is why for its headline Shukan Gendai (9/30-10/7) picked "Aki Akiramete" (Give up on Autumns).

Let's briefly review the brutal summer of 2023 and its aftermath. First of all, Tokyo set a new record for total number of manatsubi (days over 30 degrees), at 88. On Sept 15, Nagoya posted its latest date for a moshobi (fiercely hot day, of 35 degrees or higher) since record keeping began. And it appears that in the upcoming months of October and November we're in for unseasonably warm weather. Which means the glorious spectacle of koyo (colorful autumn leaves) will be pushed even later into the year.

"In the future, with the exception of a brief interlude of winter, Japan will be hot all year round," predicts Dr Yoshihiro Tachibana, Professor of Climate and Ecosystem Dynamics Division of Mie University. "We might as well think of it as years without spring or autumn."

"Last August temperatures we saw all kinds of irregular phenomena, with high temperatures approaching 40 degrees Celsius, and the moshobi continuing into September," Tachibana continued. "Unfortunately that won't be over this year. Until a few years ago, we referred to it as irregular weather, but in the future it will have become par for the course.

"You can describe it in terms of 'irregular weather as the new normal,'" said Tachibana. "Japan is in the process of becoming 'a country two seasons,' characterized by seemingly never-ending summers and winters with extreme cold."

Tachibana explains that in addition to higher surface temperatures of the ocean, the North Pole continues to warm, affecting westerly trade winds. These are winds that blow from west to east, flowing along the boundary between the cold air mass to the north and the warm air to the south.

As opposed to the Japan of "four distinct seasons," here are some predictions by Dr Tachibana for what we should expect in the not-too-distant future.

  • Augusts will see consecutive days of temperatures exceeding 40 degrees Celsius.
  • As the heat will not dissipate in Septembers, more "super typhoons" will be generated. The saying "autumns are for exercising" will be a thing of the past.
  • Octobers will see proliferations of swarms of mosquitoes. Fish like sanma (Pacific saury), which are repelled by warm ocean water, will disappear from the dinner table.
  • In Novembers, expect "begrimed autumn leaves," devoid of bright colors, that stay on tree branches until knocked off by heavy snowfalls.
  • In December and January, waves of extreme cold will descend from the north. Snowfalls will become so heavy there won't be any place to shovel the discarded drifts.
  • Cherry blossoms will start blooming in February.
  • Sapporo's famous Snow Festival will probably become a thing of the past.
  • By the time of school graduations in March, the cherry blossoms will have already fallen.
  • Cicadas, the insects symbolic of summer, will begin singing in May.
  • Prolonged rainy seasons will extend from June through July, and summers will become so intolerable even the most hardy foreign tourists will cease to visit.

"These abnormal patterns are just the beginning," Tachibana tells the magazine. "My projections are for autumn to completely disappear over the next 10 years, leaving us with super typhoons, downpours of rain and heavy snowfalls.

"Even if we can't completely halt our economic activities, each and every one of us will still need to change our awareness of the need to reduce carbon emissions on a daily basis," he urged.

Tachibana summed up by saying, "The melting polar ice cap cannot be expected to make a quick recovery. For the time being, we're going to have to live with weather much more extreme than what we've been facing this year."

© Japan Today

©2024 GPlusMedia Inc.

32 Comments
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Warm fall means less electricity for heating.

-4 ( +16 / -20 )

Today, is the Harvest Moon, a supermoon. The last one of 2023. The temperatures are still high for this time of the year.

7 ( +13 / -6 )

That made a delightful read (not)

6 ( +13 / -7 )

Love to view the supermoons. Illumination 100%. Moonrise 5:50 pm. The temperature is 6º above average.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

I've been desperately hoping for some signs of relief from summer, but after sleeping with the a/c on, on the night of Sep. 28, I get the feeling that Tachibana-sensei knows his stuff. Climate-wise, the future does not bode well for anyplace on the planet.

12 ( +18 / -6 )

Maybe stop using so much power unnecessarily,then.

Idling cars,aircon and heating,lack of insulation,solar panelling,tarmac everywhere,concrete pork barrel construction projects ad nauseum.

We reap what we sow.

7 ( +12 / -5 )

Warm fall means less electricity for heating.

Consecutive days of temperature over 40 degrees would mean more electricity for cooling.

Not to mention the rest of the problems that would make this small advantage not something to be grateful for.

7 ( +15 / -8 )

Only used air conditioning four times this summer in one room for a windless evening.

I love long hot summer days and high humidity, but I am relatively close to Kugenuma Shonan Beach for swim and surfing.

I would love to see a two-hour daylight permanent savings time. Sun waking up at 3:45 a.m. is not nice.

6 ( +14 / -8 )

Here we go again, more fear mongering by the eco nut jobs, lol

Pretty chilly here today in Sapporo and it was rainy.

-12 ( +12 / -24 )

Beautiful super moon, clear skies tonight.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

wallace

Saw it here mate when the clouds finally buggered off, ruddy biggun, that’s for sure

-6 ( +7 / -13 )

Cloudy in Tokyo mostly. Saw Supermoon rise but not standing proud in its full majesty.

Last months Blue moon on August 22nd was much better.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Consecutive days of temperature over 40 degrees would mean more electricity for cooling.

Not to mention the rest of the problems that would make this small advantage not something to be grateful for.

I'd gladly take two days of 40 degrees in the summer in exchange for two months of warmer weather in the autumn that do not require heating.

-10 ( +5 / -15 )

Consecutive days over 40 degress do not mean only two, and obviously they would not come in the middle of a week of comfortable temperatures but instead as a peak of a period where cooling can be even necessary to survive. This would replace a time in autom where heating is not even necessary in the first place.

Not to count the myriad of other problems that come with the change that are also described in the article and that would make it a net negative.

3 ( +9 / -6 )

Which city in Japan had temperatures over 40 degrees 10 days in a row this year?

Did you read the article? "...here are some predictions by Dr Tachibana for what we should expect in the not-too-distant future."

1 ( +5 / -4 )

I'd gladly take two days of 40 degrees

My first language is English.

Just writing "two days" does not mean they have to be consecutive, and reading that part of the sentence, no English speaker would assume it means consecutive.

Consecutive days of temperature over 40 degrees would mean more electricity for cooling.

Non consecutive days over 40 would actually mean more electricity for cooling than consecutive days, as anyone in Japan would know.

-8 ( +3 / -11 )

In December and January, waves of extreme cold will descend from the north. Snowfalls will become so heavy there won't be any place to shovel the discarded drifts.

The main trend at Japanese ski resorts over the past twenty years is very unreliable snowfall in December, meaning the season proper starting later, and very warm weather in March meaning the snow disappears double quick. Jan and Feb are still mostly as before. Feb maybe a bit milder, but not as obvious as March. Get out on the good days in Jan and Feb and you'll have a good time.

In Novembers, expect "begrimed autumn leaves," devoid of bright colors, that stay on tree branches until knocked off by heavy snowfalls.

The saying is that cold nights that produce the best colour, so this is likely. We're in Nagano and despite record heat in September, our cherry trees are already mostly bare. I think this is because some trees start preparing for winter based on shortening daylight, which is completely unaffected by climate change. Cherry trees (prunus) can produce nice autumn colour, but not this year. The maples we have (which also do not change colour at the same timing) are still very green and bushy, no sign of autumn there. If the trees that trigger on temperature change colour at increasingly different timing to those than trigger on days getting shorter, the net effect will be less spectacular colour on the hills.

2023 has given us the hottest August and September in 45 years of records. July was eighth hottest, but only because it was below average until July 15 or so. In Nagano City, it's been 2.7C above average for ninety (90) days.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

The part that makes the comment saying two days of 40 degrees are better is not about them being consecutive, but that there would only be two days of extreme heat, that the other negative consequences being listed in the article could not exist, or that it would replace days where heating is necessary, neither of those three things are true.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

It's always hot through to the end of September, and often well into October. People are so suggestible. 'Global boiling!!!' LOL

-6 ( +8 / -14 )

"My projections are for autumn to completely disappear over the next 10 years,

Let's see

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

It's always hot through to the end of September, and often well into October. People are so suggestible

Do you think the scientists that can clearly show sudden and important changes related to human activity are "suggestible"? because those are the conclusions you need to refute to make your point.

Let's see

It does not matter how much change there is, some people will grasp at straws to avoid accepting reality and will endlessly justify those changes as normal or even desirable. If in 10 years most of the season comes with temperatures above 35 degrees there will be someone that will say that is what autumn means since summer is even hotter.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

virusrex

Today 08:30 am JST

It's always hot through to the end of September, and often well into October. People are so suggestible

> Do you think the scientists that can clearly show sudden and important changes related to human activity are "suggestible"? because those are the conclusions you need to refute to make your point.

> Let's see

> It does not matter how much change there is, some people will grasp at straws to avoid accepting reality and will endlessly justify those changes as normal or even desirable. If in 10 years most of the season comes with temperatures above 35 degrees there will be someone that will say that is what autumn means since summer is even hotter.

What reality is that?

Your reality that whatever you imagine is supported by all the institutions of science and medicine in the world ?

Hahahaha

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

"My projections are for autumn to completely disappear over the next 10 years,”

Does that mean we’ll stop hearing every year about the “uniqueness of Japan’s four seasons,” and questions like: “ Do you get four seasons back home….”? Asking for a friend.

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

The autumns and springs are getting shorter and shorter.

"My projections are for autumn to completely disappear over the next 10 years,”

Does that mean we’ll stop hearing every year about the “uniqueness of Japan’s four seasons,” and questions like: “ Do you get four seasons back home….”? Asking for a friend.

LOL Brilliant!

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

 If in 10 years most of the season comes with temperatures above 35 degrees there will be someone that will say that is what autumn means since summer is even hotter.

What will they say if that non-science based opinion does not come to be the reality?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

What will they say if that non-science based opinion does not come to be the reality?

You understand what an hypothetical case is, right? it is not an opinion but an scenario made for the sake of argument, therefore it is invalid to criticize it as "non-scientific based" simply because being hypothetical it can be defined as scientific (making it such by definition).

If the scenario proves your position as wrong that would not be refuted by calling it an opinion either, it just means you could not get any actual argument against it.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Pretty chilly here today in Sapporo and it was rainy.

Every calm down - it was raining in Sapporo!!! Climate change proven as myth!!!

In fact, the top scientists were actually saying that if it was ever "pretty chilly" or "rainy" in Sapporo in October, then all climate change theory would be instantly destroyed.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Doooooom..... doom doom... doom!

You know, here in Scotland we would kill for a long hot summer and shorter winters...

We also have 4 seasons - but they're all wet lol

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

This article is nonsense and reeks of doomsday scaring.

There have always been years of unusual weather that I've known of since the 60s.

Plus this year is an El Nino year so this unusual weather and temperature pattern is to be expected.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

This article is nonsense and reeks of doomsday scaring.

Refusing to understand the conclusions made by experts in the field do not make something nonsense, and being irrationally scared from things that can be proved scientifically do not make them "doomsday scaring".

Plus this year is an El Nino year so this unusual weather and temperature pattern is to be expected.

No, it is not, there have been El Nino years before, but this year September has been the hottest on record, this clearly proves this is not just something natural happening but it has a very important contribution from climate change.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

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