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Locals in western Japan have been suffering their hottest summer to date. From June to August, thermometers consistently hit above average temperatures with a sizzling high of 105.8 Fahrenheit in western Kochi. The heat wave has caused thousands of heatstroke cases and 87 people have died as a result of unprecedented summer temperatures.

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Across western Japan, the average temperature this summer has been running at least two degrees Fahrenheit warmer than average, and this year’s high broke the record set in 2007. Residents of Osaka and Kyoto have been flocking to public pools, seeking air conditioning, or staying away from hot city streets to escape the heat. Eastern Japan has also experienced higher-than-normal temperatures.

Rising temperatures spurred an abrupt end to the local rainy season, which could cause water shortages across the nation. Concerned scientists took precautions by cloud seeding in order to keep the water flow consistent. But Mother Nature surprised them again with several days of heavy rainfall that caused flash flooding and landsides. The temperatures have also been laid to blame for the decreasing flavor of apples growing in Japan, which have been maturing more quickly due to the heat.

Across the nation, over 54,000 Japanese residents were hospitalized with complications related to heat stroke, according to the Fire and Disaster Management Agency, and 87 more died. As greenhouse gas emissions show no sign of abating, we may expect more such heat waves and related human disasters as a result of global warming.

Via Phys Org

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