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Tuesday, Dec. 28, 2010

World warmed steeply this year

Kyodo News

Temperatures on land and ocean surfaces climbed an average of 0.36 degree around the globe this year, logging the second-sharpest rise since comparable data started being tracked in 1891, the Meteorological Agency said in a preliminary report.

The sharpest rise, 0.37 degree as measured against the average between 1971 and 2000, was set in 1998.

The global land temperature rose 0.68 degree, its most ever. In Japan, however, it climbed 0.85 higher than the 30-year average, tying for the fourth-biggest increase since 1898.

The Meteorological Agency calculated the figures based on data from January through November. The overall rise was attributed to global warming caused by greenhouse gas emissions and the rise in sea surface temperature caused by El Nino. The weather conditions caused warm air to cover middle latitude areas in the Northern Hemisphere, it said.

According to the report, the world's average temperature has increased by 0.68 over the past 100 years. In Japan alone, however, it is up 1.15 degrees.

The average temperature this year in some parts of Greenland and Canada rose by 4 to 5 degrees, the report says.

Japan's average temperature from June to August this year was the highest ever, but the March-May lows dragged down the yearly average.

The agency compiles the average global temperature for land using data compiled from 1,300 locations. Japan's temperature is based on data gathered at 17 locations from Hokkaido to Okinawa.

The number of tropical depressions that developed into typhoons in 2010 is expected to stay at 14, the lowest since officials began compiling comparable data in 1951. Until this year, the lowest number was 16, recorded in 1998. The average between 1971 and 2000 was 26.7.

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