Japan just had its hottest September in 125 years. So did a lot of places

Japan has seen its hottest September since records began 125 years ago, the weather agency said, in a year expected to be the warmest in human history.

The scorching September’s average temperature was 2.66 degrees Celsius higher than usual, the Japan Meteorological Agency said on Monday.

This was “the highest figure since the start of statistics in 1898”, the agency said in a statement.

Pedestrians use portable fans to seek relief from the heat in Tokyo this summer. Photo: AFP

Across Japan last month, 100 of 153 observation locations broke an average temperature record, including in Tokyo, with an all-time high of 26.7 degrees Celsius (80 degrees Fahrenheit), in Osaka with 27.9 degrees and in Nagoya with 27.3 degrees.

The average temperature jump of 2.66 degrees was “extraordinary” and “easily topped previous highs”, weather agency official Masayuki Hirai said on Tuesday.

‘Climate breakdown has begun’, warns UN chief in hottest year on record

“If this is not an abnormally high temperature, I don’t know what is,” he said.

French weather authority Meteo-France said the September temperature average in the country will be around 21.5 degrees, between 3.5 degrees and 3.6 degrees above the 1991-2020 reference period.

Britain, too, has matched its record for the warmest September since records began in 1884.

The average global temperature in June, July and August was 16.77 degrees Celsius, surpassing the previous 2019 record, the European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service said in a report.

In September, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told world leaders the climate crisis had “ opened the gates to hell”.

In his opening address at the Climate Ambition Summit, Guterres evoked this year’s “horrendous heat” but stressed: “We can still limit the rise in global temperature to 1.5 degrees,” referring to the target seen as needed to avoid long-term climate catastrophe.

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