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Weatherman warns global warming impacting Okinawa

Date Posted: 2009-02-18

As Masamitsu Morita was giving a lecture on global warming several days ago, telling participants Okinawa’s temperatures are increasing, the weather outside was surprisingly summer-like for a February day.

Balmy 27~28C temperatures, what you’d expect to enjoy on a June day, were putting smiles on faces all across the island, except, perhaps, inside Tembus Hall where Morita, a television weather forecaster, and environmental experts were making predictions warmer—even downright hot—temperatures are going to continue increasing over the coming 50 years. The lectures were sponsored by the Naha City Global Warming Provision Committee.

“Our living environment has changed so quickly,” says Okinawa University president Kunitoshi Sakurai, “ we need to become interested in the environment more, so we can understand what’s going on in this world.” Sakurai, who heads the Global Warming Provision Committee, says “summer days, hot days, are increasing big time.”

Morita referred to heavy rains in 1990 in Chile, noting the time was very cold in Okinawa and Japan, followed by drought. He says El Nino was responsible for the climate change, and now says it’s worse with manmade and artificial problems causing increases in carbon dioxide and methane gas increases. They’re fueling the global warming problem,Morita says, adding “the ocean is soaking up the CO2 and changing the acidity of the world. Living bodies are changing.”

The committee notes that Okinawa had 83 days of summer warmth five decades ago, but the number of hot days has already increased to 124 since 2000. Last year, the researchers pointed out, 30C temperatures spanned more than three months, and they predict Okinawa’s in for another scorcher year.

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