Japan to assess damage from global warming

TOKYO - (The Japan News/ANN) - The Environment Ministry plans to estimate the possible damage from typhoons hitting the Japanese archipelago should global warming progress.

  By presenting actual examples of anticipated damage from typhoons, which are expected to worsen because of global warming, the ministry aims to encourage local governments to improve disaster preparedness.

  Research for the estimate will start in fiscal 2020. A team featuring the National Institute for Environmental Studies, the Meteorological Research Institute and several universities will jointly conduct the study, using supercomputers.

The team hypothesizes that two types of typhoons, that follow the same paths as Typhoon No. 19 in October last year and Typhoon No. 21 in September 2018, occurred during warmer periods. Typhoon No. 21 caused severe damage to areas that included Kansai Airport.

 The team will  estimate the extent of damage such as amount of precipitation, wind speeds, floods and blackouts by region in each case.

  The hypothetical temperatures for the study are set to the increased global average temperatures, which are 2 C and 4 C, respectively, above those prior to the Industrial Revolution in the 18th century.

  The Paris Agreement, an international framework for measures against global warming, aims to keep the increase in the global average temperature to less than 2 C above the temperature before the industrial revolution. But some experts argue that if sufficient countermeasures are not taken, the temperature could rise by about 4 C.

  In the study, the team will also examine the difference in the scale of damage if temperatures rose by 2 C and 4 C. It is feared the progress of global warming will increase the intensity of typhoons because of the jump in sea temperatures, among other factors. 

  The environment ministry had budgeted ¥70 million for this study.

It plans to announce a report summarizing the impact of climate change, based on the latest papers at the end of fiscal 2020, which will include the results of this study.


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